The Russian airline leasing company Avia Capital Services filed a lawsuit in Chicago on Monday accusing Boeing of “negligent actions” and demanding its order for 35 737 MAX aircraft be canceled. Avia is also suing for return of its $35 million deposit, $75 million in lost profits, $115 million in compensatory damages and a further sum in punitive damages.
The Financial Times first reported the lawsuit and said that, according to Avia’s lawyers, Boeing offered the firm compensation but it was not enough. According to a report on CNN, the aircraft were originally due to be delivered to Avia between 2019 and 2022, but the agreement had previously been adjusted to begin deliveries in 2022 and conclude in 2024. Now Avia wants out completely.
Avia attorney Steven Marks said that “we’re seeking damages for fraud and misrepresentation because Boeing intentionally misrepresented that it was going to provide a properly certified and airworthy aircraft.” Marks told the Financial Times that “I think you will see a number of other operators filing suit in coming months. This will be the first of many to come.”
So far, U.S. airlines have publicly stood behind Boeing and the MAX design even as they have to keep aircraft beyond their intended retirement date in order to keep up with summer travel. They have canceled thousands of flights since the grounding in March and have had to roll out older, less-efficient aircraft to fill in the schedules.
Meanwhile, Reuters is reporting that American Airlines’ Senior Vice President of Customer Experience Kerry Philipovitch told reporters today that the airline is “confident” that the 737 MAX will be in service this year.