Polish national carrier LOT has sued American plane manufacturer Boeing for $250 million over financial losses suffered due to the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX planes in 2019.
The lawsuit was preceded by many months of conciliatory negotiations, which had not led to a satisfying conclusion for either LOT or Boeing. LOT’s spokesman, Krzysztof Moczulski, announced that the lawsuit was filed to a court in Seattle on Tuesday.
LOT CEO Rafał Milczarski explained in early October that the company has suffered severe financial losses due to the grounding of Boeing 737 MAX planes.
“We are holding and held talks with Boeing. For now, these negotiations did not bring expected results and for this reason we will use all solutions available to use to receive compensation,” Milczarski had said.
He added that LOT “could and would not give up a single thing which Boeing owed us. This is a completely natural approach, and we will put these claims forward towards Boeing.”
Boeing 737 MAX planes were grounded by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) on March 12 2019 after two accidents had occurred with the aircraft — one in Indonesia in October 2018 and another in Ethiopia in March 2019, resulting in 346 people losing their lives. The Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) software, which was meant to make it easier to pilot the planes, was identified as the cause of the crashes.
Nevertheless, MCAS was directed by only one Angle of Attack (AoA) sensor which continuously turned on as if it was malfunctioning and forced the planes’ nose down which made it impossible to control the aircraft.
The Polish airline stated that a Boeing 737 MAX flew as part of LOT’s fleet for the first time in two years in March 2021 from Warsaw to Oslo. Currently, the Polish national carrier has five MAXs in its fleet.