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24 July


Boeing to pay $100 million to families affected by deadly 737 MAX crashes

The operation of the 737 MAX model was suspended worldwide in March after the second crash

Boeing Photo: Reuters

/NOVOSTIVL/ Boeing said on Wednesday that it would give $100 million over multiple years to local governments and non-profit organisations to help families and communities affected by the deadly crashes of its 737 MAX planes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. This article appeared in the Reuters.

The move is a step toward repairing the image of the world’s largest plane manufacturer, which has been severely dented by the disasters and its sometimes clumsy response to them.

Boeing faces inquiries by global regulators and US lawmakers over the development of the 737 MAX, as well as more than 100 lawsuits by the families of victims of a Lion Air crash in October and Ethiopian Airlines in March, which together killed 346 people.

The multi-year payout is independent of the lawsuits, a Boeing spokesman said, meaning it will not go directly to the families.

The $100 million is meant to help with education and living expenses and to spur economic development in affected communities, Boeing said, without specifying which authorities or organisations would receive the money. It also said it would match any employee donations through December.

The money might be better spent returning the remains of victims to their families, suggested Robert Clifford, a Chicago-based lawyer representing several of the Ethiopian crash families.

The 737 MAX was grounded worldwide in March, after the second crash. Boeing is working on a fix for software that has been identified as a common link in both crashes, which must be approved by US air regulators before the 737 MAX can fly again.