Boeing pays Alaska Airlines $160M ‘initial payment’ for door blowout

Boeing has paid Alaska Airlines roughly $160 million as an “initial payment” for “financial damages” resulting from the flight that experienced a midair door blowout at 16,000 feet earlier this year.

Alaska Airlines, which was operating the Boeing plane at the time the fuselage blew off, said in a regulatory filing that it lost “approximately $160 million” in its first quarter in pretax profit, “primarily comprising lost revenues, costs due to irregular operations and costs to restore our fleet to operating service,” Fox earlier reported.

The filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission added that the $160 million cash was “equivalent” to what the airline lost from the “terrifying” incident on Jan.5.

Boeing has paid Alaska Airlines roughly $160 million for financial damages related to the fuselage blowout that occurred earlier this year, according to a regulatory filing. Getty Images

However, Boeing is “expected” to provide “additional compensation” in the future, per the documents, though it wasn’t immediately when or how much more the airplane manufacturer would be handing over — or when.

When asked for comment, a spokesperson for Boeing pointed to CFO Brian West’s comments at the Bank of America Industrial Conference on March 20, where he said that the company, in the wake of Jan. 5, “acknowledges that we need to improve upon safety and quality and conformance.”

Representatives for Alaska Airlines did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

Meanwhile, Boeing has been dealing with a full-blown safety and reputational crisis as a result of the massive cabin panel blowout just minutes after Flight 1282 took off from Portland, Ore., causing the cabin to depressurize and the gaping hole in the airliner to suck out one passenger’s cell phone and another teen traveler’s shirt.

Boeing is now under a May 28 deadline from the Federal Aviation Administration to develop “a comprehensive action plan to address its systemic quality-control issues.”

The federal agency has also already delayed certification of Boeing’s MAX 10 models — the largest in its family of 737 MAX aircraft — and barred the plane maker from expanding production of its best-selling 737 MAX narrowbody jets in the wake of the Jan. 5 door blowout.

The SEC filing said that Boeing is “expected” to cough up more money to cover Flight 1282-related damages, though it wasn’t immediately clear how much more cash Alaska Airlines is in for. US Securities amd Exchange Commission

The delivery delays have had a ripple effect through the airline industry, with United Airlines even asking pilots to take voluntary unpaid leave next month.

Because of an anticipated shortage of airplanes, “our forecasted block hours for 2024 have been reduced and we are offering our pilots voluntary programs for the month of May to reduce excess staffing,” United said in a statement sent to The Post.

Block hours — the key industry measure for aircraft use — include the time from the moment the aircraft door closes at departure to the moment the plane’s door opens again at arrival on a given flight.

The voluntary pilot leave programs could possibly extend into summer and fall.

It wasn’t immediately clear what incentives, if any, United was giving pilots to take a month-long leave from work.

“We don’t have any further specifics to share at this time,” a United spokesperson told The Post on Tuesday.

The massive cabin panel blowout took place on Jan. 5 when Flight 1282 reached 16,000 feet, causing the cabin to depressurize and the gaping hole in the airliner to suck out one passenger’s cell phone and another teen traveler’s shirt. Getty Images

After initial news of Boeing’s delays broke in February, United’s chief financial officer Mike Leskinen said the carrier was “deeply disappointed” with Boeing over delays in the delivery of its new MAX 10 aircraft specifically as it threw a wrench into the Chicago-based airline’s growth projections.

The CFO added that the delays have raised questions about the carrier’s ability to expand its domestic capacity by almost 30% by 2026 under its “United Next” plan.

United was counting on an upgraded fleet that would include 277 MAX 10 jets.

As the airline awaits those aircrafts, it has also slashed its 2024 forecast for MAX 8 delivery from Boeing from 43 to 37, and said it expects to receive 15 fewer MAX 9s this year.

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