Boeing pays Alaska Airlines $160 million in compensation for the blowout of a panel during flight


Alaska Airlines says Boeing has paid the carrier $160 million in “initial compensation” for a panel that blew out of an Alaska Boeing 737 Max 9 jetliner in January.

The airline said Thursday that it expects additional compensation, the terms of which it said are confidential.

The payment covered Alaska’s pretax loss related to the accident, including lost revenue and the cost of returning its Max 9 fleet to service after the planes were grounded for three weeks.

The airline described the compensation in a regulatory filing.

Boeing did not comment immediately.

A panel that plugs a gap left for an extra emergency exit blew off an Alaska Max 9 as it flew 16,000 feet over Oregon on Jan. 5. Pilots were able to land safely, and no one was injured.

Alaska quickly grounded its other Max 9s, and the Federal Aviation Administration followed by grounding all Max 9s in the United States – affecting Alaska and United Airlines. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating, and the Justice Department is examining whether the incident violated terms of a settlement that Boeing reached in 2021 to avoid criminal prosecution for allegedly misleading regulators who certified Max jets for flights.

Alaska said in Thursday’s filing that it expects to lose between $1.05 and $1.15 per share for the January-March quarter, with 95 cents per share of the loss related to the accident.

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