Seattle: Boeing has said it would give US $100 million to organizations to help families affected by the crashes of the 737 MAX planes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. The multi-year payout is independent of lawsuits filed by families of the 346 people killed in the two crashes, which happened in October 2018 and March this year, a Boeing spokesman said.
In a statement, Boeing said the funds will support education, hardship and living expenses for affected families, community programs, and economic development in communities. The planemaker said it will partner with local governments and non-profit organizations “to address these needs”.
“The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies, and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort,” said Boeing Chief Executive Dennis Muilenburg.
Many lawsuits have been filed against Boeing by families of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crash victims. The company is in settlement talks over the Lion Air litigation and has also offered to negotiate with families of Ethiopian Airlines victims. However, reports say some families have refused to settle.
The cash pledge comes in the wake of Boeing facing probes by global regulators and US lawmakers.
The beleaguered manufacturer hasn’t been receiving orders for 737 MAX jets. In a report in May, it said not only did the 737 MAX receive zero new orders since it was grounded worldwide in March, the company’s other jets, such as the 787 Dreamliner or the 777, also did not get any new orders in April.
According to the report issued on Tuesday, Boeing did report some orders for the other jets in late March, even in the wake of the March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines jet and the grounding of the 737 MAX that followed, reports CNN.
At least 356 people were killed in the two crashes — Lion Air in October and the Ethiopian Airlines on March 10 — involving the 737 MAX aircraft that took place within a span of five months.
Lufthansa ordered 20 of the 787 jets on March 15, and British Airways ordered 18 of the 777X on March 22, the report said.