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China Eastern seeks damages from Boeing for 737 Max grounding

State-owned carrier has substituted Airbus 320s, limiting impact for now

Other Chinese carriers could follow in China Eastern's footsteps in seeking compensation from Boeing.   © Reuters

SHANGHAI -- China Eastern Airlines, one of the country's leading state-owned carriers, is requesting compensation from Boeing over disruptions caused by the grounding of its 737 Max fleet.

About 10 Chinese companies are planning to purchase the planes, which the Chinese government stopped from flying in the aftermath of an Ethiopian Airlines crash last month that killed 157. More carriers could follow in China Eastern's footsteps.

China Eastern had been operating 14 Boeing 737 Max jets, including at subsidiary Shanghai Airlines. It is now using the Airbus A320 and other models to fill the gap left by the grounded planes, China's Global Times reports.

The impact is limited at this time, but China Eastern is in talks with U.S.-based Boeing regarding potential reparations, a company executive said.

The airline is planning to purchase 60 planes from Boeing in 2019, 11 of which are 737 Max jets.

Before the Ethiopian Airlines crash, another 737 Max operated by Indonesian budget carrier Lion Air crashed in October, killing 189.

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