After Southwest, American Airlines. The American company announced Monday that it has reached an agreement with Boeing on the amount of compensation that the aircraft manufacturer must pay it in order to compensate for the shortfall suffered due to the immobilization of the 737 MAX since March 2019.
Also read: Boeing, a never-ending fall
American Airlines operated 24 737 MAX planes before their flight ban following the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines accidents, which killed a total of 346 people. Without specifying the amount or the nature of the compensation obtained from Boeing, the first American airline indicated that it would distribute $ 30 million to its employees as part of the internal profit-sharing program.
Hundreds of thousands of canceled flights
“Despite the continuing difficulties caused by the immobilization on the ground (of the MAX), American Airlines employees continue to deal admirably with our customers,” justified CEO Doug Parker, quoted in a press release. It is however less than his compatriot and rival Southwest, who announced in mid-December to distribute $ 125 million to his employees after an agreement with Boeing.
The customer relations departments of the airlines are under severe strain and assailed by calls from passengers unwilling to board this plane, several executives said recently. The airlines have had to cancel hundreds of thousands of flights in nine months and still don’t know when they should include the MAX in their flight plans.
$ 5.6 billion forecast for compensation
Boeing had recorded in its accounts in July a charge of $ 5.6 billion for the compensation provided to the airlines which had to replace the MAX with other models. This can take different forms: financial compensation, maintenance services, discounts on future aircraft purchases, exchanges of new models, etc.
Also read: Boeing suspends production of 737 MAX from January 2020
The American manufacturer has also started to assign to other sites part of the 3,000 employees affected by the suspension of production of this star aircraft, according to an internal letter consulted by Agence France Presse (AFP). Its employees affected by the suspension of production of the MAX, planned from mid-January, on the production site of Renton, near Seattle (west), will thus be assigned to other programs (767, 777 / 777X) or other tasks but always in the same region.