Nation & World

Boeing sets $100 million fund

Money to aid those affected by Indonesian, Ethiopian 737 Max crashes

Reuters

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg speaks during a news conference at the annual shareholder meeting in Chicago in April.
Reuters Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg speaks during a news conference at the annual shareholder meeting in Chicago in April.

Boeing on Wednesday announced it has set aside a $100 million fund to cover the needs of family and community members affected by two separate crashes involving the company’s 737 Max aircraft.

Boeing said the fund will support “education, hardship and living expenses” for those affected by the Lion Air crash in October, which killed 189 people, and the March Ethiopian Airlines crash, which killed 157.

The aviation giant said it would partner with local governments and not-for-profit organizations on community programs and economic development in grieving communities.

Boeing said this “initial investment” would be made over many years.

“We know every person who steps aboard one of our airplanes places their trust in us,” Dennis Muilenburg, the company’s chairman, president and CEO said in a statement. “We are focused on re-earning that trust and confidence from our customers and the flying public in the months ahead.”

Muilenburg has apologized for the lives lost over the past year, and he publicly recognized the role a Boeing-approved flight system, called the Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System, played in both crashes.

The MCAS system can, in certain dangerous circumstances, cause pilots to lose control of an aircraft in response to faulty data from the plane’s external sensors.

On Wednesday, Boeing said its employees also could make donations supporting those touched by the crashes, and that the company will match those employee donations through the end of the year.

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A company spokesperson said the pledge is separate from any lawsuits filed by the families and loved ones of those who died in the crashes.

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