By Cailey Rizzo
May 22, 2019
GREG BAKER/Getty Images

China’s three largest airlines have sent compensation claims to Boeing for the months their 737 aircraft have been grounded.

More than 40 countries, including China and the U.S., grounded 737 aircraft in the aftermath of the Ethiopian Airways crash in March that killed 157 people.

This week, China Eastern Airlines, Air China and China Southern Airlines all sent a compensation request to the manufacturer.

“China has grounded 96 aircraft, which is about 4 percent of its airplanes,” Li Xioajin, a China aviation expert, told Reuters. “The grounding causes huge losses for Chinese airlines.”

None of the airlines disclosed how much they were requesting in compensation, but losses are estimated to be almost $14,500 per aircraft per day of grounding, according to Reuters.

China was the first country to ground the Boeing 737, doing so less than a day after the Ethiopian Airways crash. It has already been more than two months that the planes have stayed on the ground.

All three of the airlines issuing compensation requests are controlled by the Chinese state.

But China isn’t the only country asking Boeing for compensation. Norwegian Air, Flydubai, Ryanair and Turkish Air have also asked for money from the manufacturer, according to CNN.

The 737 Max had been Boeing’s best-selling plane. But the future of the aircraft is uncertain after it was involved in two fatal crashes within five months. The Ethiopian Airways crash had many similarities to a Lion Air crash in October 2018. Both aircraft were new to the fleet and both crashed within minutes of takeoff. According to Boeing’s data, the manufacturer only sold 10 of the aircraft in the first quarter of 2019, compared with 112 in the same period last year.

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