Southwest Airlines employees could land Boeing 737 reimbursement

The financial damage incurred by airlines over the grounding of Boeing MAX 737, has at least one carrier taking the economic blow to its employees into consideration.

Southwest Airlines and Boeing have been discussing reimbursement plans and Southwest CEO Gary Kelly wrote in a memo that his airline is  "looking at ways to share proceeds as appropriate with all of our employees," according to WFAA in Dallas where the airline is based.

The Federal Aviation Administration took swift action to ground all 737 MAXs this March after one operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed. It was the second 737 MAX failure in six months which took the lives of 350 passengers combined.

So how much money could the employees receive?

Southwest had been using 34 of the Max planes which have been grounded since 2019 creating a financial impact of $225 million in the first half of 2019 alone.

While Boeing hopes to get approval from Federal Aviation Administration to get their planes back in the air by the end of November, Southwest is preparing for the fleet to be grounded through Jan 2020.

With approximately 59,000 employees at Southwest, each would receive a  $3,813 if the airline decided to split a $225 million payout evenly.

Boeing is currently looking at a much higher figure, $4.9 billion, for potential second-quarter settlements for damages incurred industry-wide.

The grounding of the 737 MAX has caused Southwest to take thousands of flights off its schedule in 2019 as well as put a pause on the hiring of new pilots and other employees.


"I know we have all been affected by this disruption to our business and growth plan," CEO Kelly added in the Monday memo. "More on that in the future, but I did want you all to know I recognize this hasn’t just affected some of you — it has affected all of you."