Boeing pays Alaska Air more than $160 million after explosion

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Boeing has paid $160m (£126m) to Alaska Air to compensate for losses it has suffered so far after a dramatic mid-air explosion in January.

Alaska said the money will address lost earnings in the first three months of the year and expects other payments in the coming months.

Regulators temporarily grounded nearly 200 Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft after a door seal fell off an Alaska Air plane shortly after takeoff.

Thousands of flights were cancelled.

Airlines are now facing delivery delays as Boeing slows production of new planes to try to resolve manufacturing and safety concerns.

In February, low-cost airline Ryanair warned that holidaymakers faced paying higher prices due to delays.

United Airlines, which has also warned investors of a financial hit from the grounding, recently asked pilots to volunteer to take unpaid leave, due to delivery changes.

In January, Alaska warned of a loss of nearly $150 million. “Although we had some bookings following the accident and grounding of the 737-9 MAX, February and March ended higher than our original pre-flight expectations,” the airline said.

Boeing has not commented but warned earlier this year that it expected to spend at least $4 billion (£3.16 billion) more than expected in the first three months of the year.

The company has been facing a crisis since the emergency that occurred on January 5, during which passengers on an Alaska Airlines flight from Portland, Oregon, bound for California, escaped from serious injuries.

Boeing now faces a criminal investigation into the incident itself, as well as legal action from passengers on the plane.

Last month, CEO Dave Calhoun said he would step down by the end of the year, the most prominent leader to leave the company in the wake of the crisis.

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