MH370 Kiwi's widow wants Boeing to pay for retrieval ahead of new search for missing airliner

As the search for missing airliner MH370 enters a new phase, the widow of a Kiwi passenger wants plane manufacturer Boeing to help pick up the retrieval bill should it be found.

Danica Weeks, whose husband Paul Weeks was on the plane when it vanished during a 2014 flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, is suing the American aerospace company as she believes the Malaysia Airlines-operated Boeing 777 disappeared along with its 229 passengers and crew due to mechanical fault.

Weeks, who has also filed proceedings against the airline, said Boeing needed to prove its aircraft were safe and helping to pay for MH370's recovery – if it was found – would help to do that.

"If they've got nothing to hide then, why not? They've got the money, they've got the resources," the Sunshine Coast, Australia woman said on Sunday. 

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"So let's hear from them, let's hear from the horse's mouth that those planes are safe, because quite frankly their silence has been pretty scary.

"I'm not suing for money. The beauty of aviation law is they have to prove they weren't negligent, not the other way round."

Another aeroplane manufacturer, Airbus, helped fund part of the search for Air France Flight 447 after one of its 330s crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009, killing 228 people.

The search for what remains of missing airliner MH370 resumes this week after the Malaysian Government signed a memorandum of understanding with American seabed exploration firm Ocean Infinity to find it within three months.

A ship chartered by the company, the Seabed Constructor, was expected to reach and begin searching the 25,000 square kilometre area in the Indian Ocean on Wednesday, following earlier extensive searches.

Weeks said court action was her only way to get one of the largest aerospace companies in the world to talk.

"We're so sick of not hearing anything from them, it's really a slap in the face.The people that manufactured this plane should be helping us find out what happened to it."


Weeks' husband and the father of her two children was from Christchurch. The young family lived in the city before moving to Perth in 2011.

"I just want to find him. That was the start goal and that's still the end goal – to find Paulie," she said.

"I know it's been four years and the boys have grown so much, but it feels just like yesterday for me.

"Since day one we're no further ahead. They say time heals, but time doesn't heal in this. We still don't know."

Weeks said their eldest son, Lincoln – who was born in Christchurch on the day of the September 2010 earthquake – remembered his father and would tell stories about him to his brother Jack, 4.

"I don't know if anyone has been able to start grieving yet, because it's so surreal and so unprecedented – as Malaysian Airlines likes to say – that we just have to handle it day by day."

Weeks had yet to hold a memorial or funeral service for her husband and said it was too soon to do so until she knew what had happened to the engineer.

Sara Weeks, Paul Weeks' sister, said every year around the anniversary of the MH370's March 8 disappearance she and other family members and friends gathered in Christchurch to "share a couple of drinks for Paul".

Weeks said she supported her sister-in-law's court action: "If it helps her through her journey through this awful situation that's fantastic and if it leads to some answers that would be great, too".

She said "hope" was the wrong word to describe the latest efforts to find the plane. However, she said the search – payment for which was dependent on a result – was a good thing, as it would help provide closure.

"I can't mourn, I can't move on until I know what happened to my brother. There's just nothing you can do. We need to have some clear, hard facts – 'This is what happened to the plane', 'This is where it is' – so we can process it," she said.

Boeing has been approached for comment.

 - Stuff