American plane manufacturer Boeing has settled with the US Department of Justice on paying a fine of USD 2.5 billion (EUR 2.4 billion) after being charged with fraud and conspiracy following crashes of its 737 Max passenger planes, British news portal The Guardian reports.
The firm’s staff chose «the path of profit over candour by concealing material information» from the Federal Aviation Administration, the US’s top airline regulator, David Burns, the acting assistant attorney general of the justice department’s criminal division, wrote in a press release.
The Max model airliners were grounded worldwide in March 2019 after crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia that killed 346 people. A March 2020 US congressional investigation concluded that Boeing promoted a «culture of concealment» and was «grossly inefficient» in its oversight of the Max’s development.
Boeing admitted that two of its technical pilots deceived regulators about the safety of the Max’s MCAS stall prevention software, blamed in both of the fatal crashes. In both cases, the planes crashed shortly after take-off when their pilots were unable to regain control of the planes after they begun to fall, The Guardian reports.