May 21 (UPI) -- A Chinese airline Tuesday demanded compensation from Boeing for the grounding and delivery delay of the 737 Max aircraft.
China Eastern Airlines claimed that it has sustained losses because of the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 8 airplanes, state-run Chinese media Xinhua reported. The airline did not disclose details in its letter of claim to Boeing.
China Eastern, based in Shanghai, has not flown its 14 Max airplanes since March after China became one of the first countries to stop its commercial operations after crashes of an Ethiopian Airlines flight in March and an Indonesia Lion Air crash in October, killing hundreds.
Boeing has been working on a software fix to the current safety system that forced the plane into a steep dive that the pilots could not override to prevent a stall. The system was believed to be involved in both crashes.
Airlines and national aviation agencies around the world grounded the 737 Max until Boeing could make fixes and get clearance from the Federal Aviation Administration. Boeing had also stopped delivering new 737 Max orders to customers and said it would slash production monthly from 52 to 42.
Airline consultant Peter Lemme told the Seattle Times on Monday that he was questioned for six hours by U.S. Justice Department fraud prosecutors after he raised questions about the development of the 737 Max.
Lemme said he was subpoenaed and ordered to surrender emails and other records. He said during his meeting with investigators he talked about what he believed were "shortcomings" in Boeing's development of the 737 Max according to available information.