Pilot sues Delta claiming the airline stole crew app.

Delta Air Lines was sued for more than $1 billion by one of its own pilots, who claims he developed a text-messaging app for flight crews that the airline stole and used as the basis for its own app, Bloomberg reported.

See also: Delta reports its first quarterly profit since the pandemic began.

Captain Craig Alexander sued Atlanta-based Delta for trade-secrets theft in Georgia state court on Monday. He claims he spent $100,000 of his own money to develop his QrewLive app, which he pitched to the airline as a way to address crew communication snafus after disrupted flights. Delta turned him down but went on to launch its own identical tool, he claims.

Delta “stole like a thief in the night” and defrauded its own loyal employee, Keenan Nix, a lawyer for Alexander, said Wednesday in an interview.

Morgan Durrant, a Delta spokesperson, said in a statement: “While we take the allegations specified in Mr. Alexander’s complaint seriously, they are not an accurate or fair description of Delta’s development of its internal crew messaging platform.”

The pilot could face a challenge pursuing his claims as a Delta employee, as companies typically own the rights to anything produced by their workers. In his suit Alexander stressed that he put his own time and resources into QrewLive and said Delta indicated it would be willing to purchase the app from him on the same terms as from an outside vendor.

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