Boeing pledges US$100 million to help families of 737 Max crash victims in Indonesia, Ethiopia


SAN FRANCISCO – Boeing Company announced Wednesday that it has set aside US$100 million to address family and community needs of those affected by two deadly air crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia last October and this March, Xinhua news agency reported, quoting the company’s CEO.

Boeing said the funds are an initial investment to be paid over multiple years to support education, hardship and living expenses of the families of the victims who were killed in the “tragic accidents” of Indonesian Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302.

The two air crashes, both involving Boeing 737 Max 8 jets, killed a combined 346 people and led to the global grounding of 737 Max aircraft since March.

“We at Boeing are sorry for the tragic loss of lives in both of these accidents and these lives lost will continue to weigh heavily on our hearts and on our minds for years to come,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and CEO.

He expressed “deepest sympathies” for the families of those victims, hoping the funds will “help bring them comfort.”

Muilenburg reaffirmed in a tweet Wednesday that the safety of Boeing aircraft and the crew and passengers who fly on them is Boeing’s “highest priority.”

The company will work with local governments and nonprofit organisations to deploy the money over the upcoming years, but it did not explain any details about how the money will be used or apportioned.

Boeing said its employees are encouraged to make charitable donations to support the families affected by the accidents, and the company will “match these employee donations through Dec 31, 2019.”

The US top aircraft manufacturer has been grilled in recent months over the safety of its 737 airplanes as the US Federal Aviation Administration is pressuring Boeing to update and improve a flight control software that was partially blamed for the two air crashes in five months.