Qatar Airways will seek compensation from Boeing over the grounding of three 737 MAX aircraft by Air Italy, in which the Doha-based company is a major shareholder.
Boeing MAX jets were grounded worldwide and airlines have cancelled multimillion-dollar contracts following crashes in Indonesia in October and Ethiopia in March that killed nearly 350 people.
“At Qatar Airways we do not operate any MAX airplanes – it affected our investment into Air Italy,” said Chief Executive Akbar al-Baker.
“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,” he told Reuters news agency.
In 2017, Qatar purchased 49 per cent of Air Italy, Italy’s second-largest carrier behind Alitalia, which 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.