Boeing Co. has come under major scrutiny following a lawsuit from Southwest Airlines pilots accusing the manufacturer of rushing to produce the 737 Mas jet in order to remain competitive, according to Bloomberg.
The suit claims that Boeing hurried its manufacturing of the aircraft, which turned out to be unsafe as crucial information about a feature was withheld and led to two fatal crashes within the space of five months.
The Southwest Airlines Pilots Association union is seeking $115 million at the very least. Said union is looking for compensation over lost pay, as well as legal expenses.
“Boeing made a calculated decision to rush a re-engined aircraft to market to secure its single-aisle market share and prioritize its bottom line,” it reads.
“Boeing abandoned sound design and engineering practices, withheld safety critical information from regulators and deliberately misled its customers, pilots and the public about the true scope of design changes."
Southwest is the largest operator of Boeing's Max yet they've left all of them grounded since March. The airline's parking of its 35 Max jets and being unable to get new ones in a timely fashion has seen tens of thousands of flights canceled and has cut $225 million from the company's operating income.
Boeing, on the other hand, has invited Max pilots to fly the updated software as it attempts to rebuild confidence in its brand. The airplane manufacturers say they will "vigorously" defend themselves against what they claim is a meritless suit.
They will continue to work with Southwest and their pilots, however.
“We believe this lawsuit is meritless and will vigorously defend against it,” the manufacturers said in an email. “We will continue to work with Southwest Airlines and its pilots on efforts to safely return the Max to service.”
The suit was reportedly filed at a state court in Dallas on Monday but, at the time of writing, the court had not confirmed.