Boeing pays ‘initial’ $160m compensation to Alaska Air over 737 Max 9 panel blowout

Boeing has paid an initial $160 million to Alaska Air to cover losses resulting from the impact of the January B737 Max 9 mid-air panel blow-out.

The carrier said the sum would cover lost profits in the first quarter of the year and that further compensation from the aircraft manufacturer was expected.

Almost 200 Max 9s were grounded by US regulators into February after a door plug fell off an Alaska Air aircraft soon after take off from Portland in Oregon.

The airline said its operation and results in the first three months had been “significantly impacted”.

In an investor update yesterday (Thursday) Alaska Air said: “As a result of the Flight 1282 accident and the Boeing 737-9 Max grounding, we lost approximately $160 million in Q1 pretax profit, primarily comprising lost revenues, costs due to irregular operations, and costs to restore our fleet to operating service. 

“We have received initial compensation from Boeing to address the financial damages incurred as a result of Flight 1282 and the 737-9 Max groundings. 

“As part of this compensation, Boeing paid approximately $160 million in cash during the first quarter. 

“This cash payment is equivalent to the lost profits resulting from the accident and grounding in Q1 2024. 

“Additional compensation is expected to be provided beyond Q1, the complete terms of which are confidential.”

The airline had projected an 80% year-on-year improvement in first quarter pre-tax profits before the B737 Max 9 crisis.

“Although we did experience some book away following the accident and 737-9 Max grounding, February and March both finished above our original pre-grounding expectations,” Alaska Air said.

This was due to “core improvements” to business performance driven by strategic network adjustments, strong demand in the quarter, and continued recovery of US west coast business travel.

Boeing remains under investigation over the incident and revealed last week that president and chief executive Dave Calhoun will step down at the end of the year as the company continues to address safety and quality standards.

Share article

View Comments

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.