Boeing is facing yet another lawsuit, this time from the Czech-based airline Smartwings, seeking compensation over the losses caused by the 737 MAX grounding.
On June 22, 2021, the low-cost carrier filed a lawsuit against Boeing over the financial damages experienced by the carrier due to the grounding of the 737 MAX following the two fatal crashes on October 29, 2018, and on March 10, 2019. The carrier hemorrhaged approximately $93.8 million in 2020 according to Simple Flying.
In addition to seeking compensation, Smartwings wants Boeing to return one aircraft including payments made towards it, as well as refund advance payments made on other aircraft which were on order.
Prior to the MAX incident, the Czech carrier received its first 737 MAX in January 2018 from an order of eight Boeing 737 MAXs. Alongside the order, Smartwings had agreed with Boeing on plans to lease an additional 31 MAX aircraft which would make the carrier an all-737 MAX operator.
Smartwing’s lawsuit and complaint highlight Boeing’s implementation and safety evaluation of the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) as insufficient and misleading towards regulators due to the inadequate detailing on the purpose of the MCAS. The carrier claims that “Boeing chose a cheap and hastily implemented bandaid” over the cost-extensive measures which involved alterations to the aircraft’s airframe.
Within the Lawsuit, Smartwings further accused Boeing of “gross negligence and fraud,” as well as “material misrepresentations and nondisclosures” to pilots and the lack of attention given to detailing the nature of the MCAS, according to the Seattle Times.
Smartwings has cancelled its remaining aircraft orders with Boeing.