Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Southwest Airlines announced Thursday it's reached a settlement with Boeing that includes compensation for losses due to the global grounding of all 737 Max airliners.
The airline said it will share $125 million with Southwest employees through its profit-sharing program.
Terms of the deal are confidential, but the Dallas-based carrier said the money will come through a cost reduction in aircraft orders, which will reduce future depreciation expenses.
Southwest's fleet of 34 Max 8s have been grounded since March when the Federal Aviation Administration ordered their removal from service following two crashes of the model overseas that killed nearly 350 people.
Southwest Chairman and CEO Gary Kelly said the airline will share the money because of workers' "extraordinary efforts" to help with challenges stemming from the jetliner's grounding.
"Our people have done an incredible job managing through the Max groundings, while providing the highest levels of customer service and one of the best operational performances in our history," he said in a statement Thursday.
Southwest and American are the only U.S. carriers that fly the Max 8, and United flies the Max 9.
FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson told members of the House transportation and infrastructure committee Wednesday the agency will take its time in assessing when the plane will return to service.
"My highest priority is to make sure something like this never happens again," he said.
An FAA document submitted at the hearing showed the agency had predicted 15 additional crashes of the 737 Max were possible following the first in Indonesia in October 2018. The FAA, however, didn't take action to ground the model until after the second crash in Ethiopia in March.