Boeing compensates Alaska Airlines with $160 million

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Boeing has compensated Alaska Airlines with $160 million for the losses incurred due to the January 5 incident, where a faulty door plug caused a door to blow off an airplane mid-flight. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Boeing is expected to continue payments to Alaska Airlines in the following months. The $160 million payment covers only the first quarter. The incident shed light on Boeing’s production challenges and safety standards, leading to several mishaps since then. This incident has also raised doubts about previous occurrences involving the aircraft manufacturer, resulting in reported losses of $31 billion. The CEO and two other executives are stepping down at the year’s end.

Temporary Suspension of Aircraft

Boeing 737-9 Max aircraft were briefly grounded following the incident. Alaska Airlines anticipated significant profit losses due to the cancellation of thousands of flights. Boeing is now under investigation by various agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and, most recently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). There are concerns about Boeing obstructing the NTSB’s investigation.

Mark Pegram, father of an Ethiopian Airlines flight victim, expressed his thoughts to NPR in March, stating, “We’ve been aware of [Boeing for five years. I believe the world is finally recognizing that these incidents weren’t isolated.” Since then, Boeing has paid out billions in compensation, including a $500 million fund for families of victims form the Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air crashes five years ago, which resulted in the loss of nearly 400 lives. An FAA-commissioned panel review criticized Boeing’s safety culture, highlighting a misalignment between executives and employees regarding safety standards. The investigation also revealed employees’ apprehension of retaliation for speaking up.