Shuttered South African airline Comair has sued Boeing for alleged fraud over its agreement to buy eight 737 MAX planes and is seeking damages of at least $83m (about R1.4bn).

TimesLIVE report notes that Boeing ‘placed profits over safety and led with a plan of deception’, claimed Comair's suit filed on Monday in the US District Court in Seattle.

Comair said Boeing committed fraud over its failure to disclose problems with a key flight control system tied to two fatal 737 MAX crashes in 2018 and 2019 in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people and led to the MAX's 20-month grounding.

Comair operated flights for British Airways and its own brand Kulula.com until it halted operations in June.

The airline said Boeing refused to return $45.2m in advance payments it made on seven MAX planes.

It had paid for and received one 737 MAX.

Polish national airline PLL LOT sued Boeing in late 2021 in Seattle on similar grounds over 737 MAX purchases and the suit is pending.

US district judge Reed O'Connor ruled in October that people killed in two Boeing 737 MAX crashes are legally ‘crime victims’.

Boeing last month pleaded not guilty to a 737 MAX fraud conspiracy felony charge after families objected to a 2021 US Justice Department deferred prosecution agreement to resolve the investigation into the plane's flawed design.

Full TimesLIVE report

See also full Business Day report