Biggest 737 MAX operators get impatient with grounding

Boeing 737 MAX biggest clients are getting impatient with the prolonged grounding of the jets. More airlines are joining the growing list of operators demanding compensation of losses incurred due to it.

Turkish Airlines Chairman Ilker Ayci is reportedly meeting with Boeing’s CEO on May 24, 2019 to discuss losses incurred by MAX grounding and “the airline’s pending orders from Boeing”. Turkish Airlines has a fleet of 12 MAXs: 11 MAX 8 and one MAX 9.

China was the first country to ban the aircraft type on May 11, 2019 ‒ a day after Ethiopian Airlines flight ET 302 crash. The world-wide grounding was imposed on May 13, 2019. At the time, the worldwide MAX fleet consisted of 387 aircraft, according to the FAA.

China Southern, China Eastern, and Air China, have already sent a formal request to Boeing for compensation for the cost of grounding their 737 MAX and the postponements of deliveries. The list of Chinese airlines demanding compensation could already be as high as seven airlines, according to Asia Times report. The publication names Shandong Airlines, Hainan Airlines, Xiamen Airlines, Shenzhen Airlines and Kunming Airlines among the possible claimants.

Together with Southwest Airlines (LUV) , China Southern shares the title of the biggest current MAX (non-)operator. Both airlines have 34 aircraft of the type in their fleets. MAX fleets of Air China, China Eastern and Hainan Airlines all exceed 10 aircraft. Together, the seven above mentioned Chinese airlines represent over the quarter of the current MAX fleet worldwide.

Norwegian Air Shuttle, which was forced to ground its fleet of 18 737 MAX 8, was the first one to speak up about the plans to “send the bill” to Boeing. The company’s spokesperson Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen mentioned the idea on the day of the worldwide grounding, March 13, 2019.

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