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Southwest Airlines employees will get a big payday from Boeing over the Max 737 debacle

Southwest says employees will be able to share in the spoils through an incremental profit-sharing award distributed in 2020.

Southwest Airlines employees will get a big payday from Boeing over the Max 737 debacle
[Photo: Altair78/Wikimedia Commons]
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The grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max airplanes continues to cause huge headaches for the aerospace manufacture and throughout the broader airline industry.

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Now, it’s payback time for at least one group of employees at Southwest Airlines. The Dallas-based airline said today it has reached a deal with Boeing for $125 million in compensation, which is directly tied to all the money Southwest was projected to lose after dozens of Max planes were grounded in its fleet.

The specifics of the deal are being kept under wraps for now, but Southwest says employees will be able to share in the spoils through an incremental profit-sharing award distributed in 2020. Eligible employees should find out “early next year” what percentage of the award they’re entitled to, Southwest said.

In October, Southwest Airlines pilots sued Boeing over the plane’s grounding, saying they were misled about the plane’s safety, as NBC News reported.

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After hundreds of people died in two crashes involving a faulty flight-control system, Max planes have now been grounded for nine months, and the FAA’s recertification is not likely to happen until well into next year.

Despite it all, Southwest says it still remains confident that the model will make a safe return to the skies, although it’s unclear if passengers will ever feel comfortable flying in it.

About the author

Christopher Zara is a senior staff news editor for Fast Company and obsessed with media, technology, business, culture, and theater. Before coming to FastCo News, he was a deputy editor at International Business Times, a theater critic for Newsweek, and managing editor of Show Business magazine

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