Losses at Chinese airlines caused by the grounding of Boeing Co’s 737 MAX fleet would reach about 4 billion yuan (US$579.4 million) by the end of next month, the China Air Transport Association said yesterday.
China was the first country to ground the 737 MAX two months ago after a crash in Ethiopia killed 157 people in March, the second such incident for Boeing’s newest aircraft.
The US Federal Aviation Administration expects approval for the airplane to return to service as early as late next month, sources told reporters on Thursday.
Earlier this week, China’s biggest airlines formally asked US planemaker Boeing to compensate them for losses caused by the grounding and delayed deliveries of 737 MAX jets.
“We sincerely hope Boeing will place great importance to the compensation requests made by our member companies and offer solutions in a reasonable and legal manner,” the association said in a statement on its Web site yesterday.
The association represents 41 Chinese airlines, including compensation claimants Air China Ltd (中國國際航空), China Eastern Airlines Corp Ltd (中國東方航空) and China Southern Airlines Co Ltd (中國南方航空).
“We will closely monitor developments and provide proactive and necessary assistance upon request from our member companies, to safeguard their legitimate and lawful rights and interests,” it said.
Chinese airlines had 96 737 MAX jets in operation before the grounding and were due to receive delivery of more than 130 additional aircraft this year, it added.
“As time passes, associated losses will further increase,” the association said.
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