Comair sues Boeing over 737 purchases, seeks $83M in damages: report

Comair 737-8 landing at OR-Tambo international runway 03L
Nicolas JvRensburg / Shutterstock

Comair, the defunct South African airline, has sued Boeing for fraud over an agreement to buy eight 737 MAX planes, Reuters has reported. 

According to the report, Comair, which filed the suit on February 6, 2023, in the U.S. District Court in Seattle, is seeking damages amounting to $83 million dollars.  

Comair claimed that the US manufacturer failed to provide adequate information regarding problems with the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), a flight stabilization system on the Boeing 737 MAX, the report added.  

Problems with the MCAS have been linked to the two fatal 737 MAX crashes of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines, which resulted in the deaths of 346 people. 

Comair said that the manufacturer had “placed profits over safety and led with a plan of deception”, the report added.  

Comair also claimed that Boeing refused to return deposit payments for seven Boeing 737 MAX planes, which were not delivered, and amounted to $45.2 million. The South African airline received only one MAX aircraft.  

Comair was founded in 1946. The airline flew routes under a license agreement with British Airways and operated low-cost brand 

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic the airline was estimated to have held a share of around 40% of South Africa’s domestic aviation. The airline carried around 4.8 million passengers a year using a fleet of 26 Boeing 737 aircraft.   

However, Comair suspended flights on May 31, 2022, due to a lack of funding and on June 9, 2022, Comair entered into liquidation proceedings. 

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