INTERNATIONAL - Qatar Airways plans to seek compensation from Boeing over the grounding of three 737 MAX aircraft by Italian airline Air Italy, where the Qatari company is a major shareholder, group chief executive Akbar al-Baker told Reuters.
Boeing MAX jets have been grounded worldwide and airlines are cancelling multimillion contracts following crashes in October and March that killed nearly 350 people.
“At Qatar Airways we do not operate any MAX airplanes – it affected our investment into Air Italy. Air Italy has three MAX operated in its fleet and they were grounded so it affected us – we had to take extra routing from outside,” al-Baker said.
In 2017, Qatar purchased 49 percent of Air Italy, Italy’s second largest carrier behind Alitalia, which, in turn, is partly owned by Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Airways.
“Boeing has to compensate us for grounding,” al-Baker said, but did not elaborate on the potential cost.