(New York) Boeing, which has been accused of misleading officials in the 737 MAX approval process, has accepted responsibility and agreed to pay more than $ 2.5 billion to settle some lawsuits.
This resolution allows the manufacturer to move the clouds collected on its star plane a little further, grounded 20 months after two crashes that killed 346 people, before gaining the authority to travel to certain countries by the end of 2020.
The aeronautics giant has agreed to pay the United States $ 243.6 million in criminal fines, as well as $ 1.77 billion in compensation for a fund intended to replace 737 MAX and $ 500 million. Relatives of Lion Air in October 2018 and Ethiopian Airlines crashes in March 2019.
“Boeing employees preferred to benefit the franchise by hiding important information about the use of its 737 MAX aircraft from the FAA and trying to cover up their fraud,” Justice Department official David Burns denied in a statement.
Boeing has admitted that two of its employees misled a group in the FAA to prepare pilot training for the aircraft about MCAS flight software that was involved in two crashes.
Therefore the documents issued by the aviation agency do not contain the required information about this software, so it is not included in the company manual.
After the first crash, in October 2018, FAAS learned about the “key details” about MCAS.
The agency has faced criticism for its oversight of Boeing, which some consider too simplistic.
The group agreed to continue cooperating with authorities on all ongoing or future investigations into the alleged breach of contract for Boeing fraud and to honor certain commitments.
The division will drop the lawsuit within three years if Boeing fulfills all of its obligations. On the other hand, he did not feel the need to impose an independent inspector on the company.
Boeing chief executive David Calhoun said the deal was “the right thing to do”.
The resolution “allows us to appropriately identify that we have failed in our values and our expectations,” he said in a note to employees.
It “really reminds me of the importance of our responsibility to be transparent towards regulators and the consequences our company will face if one of us does not meet these expectations”.
The group, which has already set aside money to deal with the consequences of two fatal accidents, said it had spent an additional $ 743.6 million on its accounts.
With this deal, the 737 MAX crisis will brighten the horizons a little more for Boeing, which has suffered heavy losses from its cash cow.
In December, Goal was the first Brazilian company to return the Boeing 737 MAX to service a delicate commercial aircraft between Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre. The aircraft re-launched services in the United States last week in American Airlines colors.
However difficulties persisted, with the long-term stabilization of the aircraft and the reduction in air traffic first observed since the outbreak of the epidemic initially canceling many orders from airlines.
Some of the families of the victims are also planning to drop their cases, their lawyer spokesman told AFP.
For Zippora Kuria, who lost her father in the Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX crash, the deal was a “slap on the wrist”.
“If we really want justice, those responsible at Boeing should not retire or resign with bonuses – we should be criminally responsible for their actions,” she said in a message.