On October 29, 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea shortly after departing Jakarta, killing all 189 passengers and crew aboard. In short order, questions emerged about the safety record of the Indonesian budget airline and the qualifications of its pilots. Few blamed the airplane itself, a hot-off-the-presses Boeing 737 MAX jet.
After all, it was a Boeing, and the manufacturer’s reputation for quality was second to none. Boeing had been synonymous with safety for decades, since its 707 had taken off from Idlewild (now JFK Airport) and ushered in the Jet Age. “If it’s not Boeing, I’m not going!” was a slogan for a reason; pilots and passengers alike felt the company had earned their trust and would continue to. But then, five months later, in Ethiopia, another 737 MAX fell out of the sky.
The Boeing Company (Boeing) has entered into an agreement with the Department of Justice to resolve a criminal charge related to a conspiracy to defraud the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aircraft Evaluation Group (FAA AEG) in connection with the FAA AEG’s evaluation of Boeing’s 737 MAX airplane.
Boeing, a U.S.-based multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells commercial airplanes to airlines worldwide, entered into a deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) in connection with a criminal information filed today in the Northern District of Texas. The criminal information charges the company with one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States. Under the terms of the DPA, Boeing will pay a total criminal monetary amount of over $2.5 billion, composed of a criminal monetary penalty of $243.6 million, compensation payments to Boeing’s 737 MAX airline customers of $1.77 billion, and the establishment of a $500 million crash-victim beneficiaries fund to compensate the heirs, relatives, and legal beneficiaries of the 346 passengers who died in the Boeing 737 MAX crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.