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 nonprofit organizations on community programs and economic development in grieving communities. Boeing said this “initial investment” would be made over many years.


A Boeing 737 MAX 7, the newest version of Boeing’s fastest-selling airplane, is displayed during a debut for employees and media of the new jet in Renton, Wash., in 2018. Boeing says it’s providing $100 million over several years to help families and communities affected by two crashes of its 737 Max plane that killed 346 people. The company said Wednesday that some of the money will go toward living expenses and to cover hardship suffered by the families of dead passengers. Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

“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 could also make donations supporting those touched by the crashes, and that the company will match those employee donations through the end of the year.

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.

“We’ve been assessing a variety of ways to assist the families and communities impacted and determined that this is a constructive step that we can take now,” the spokesperson said.

Boeing has battled multiple safety issues that have jeopardized the reputation of the century-old aviation icon. Just last month, the Federal Aviation Administration discovered a potential problem related to the flight control computer on Boeing’s 737 Max jets that could, in rare circumstances, force the plane to dive in an uncontrolled fashion. Experienced FAA test pilots were worried that they couldn’t “quickly and easily follow the required recovery procedures,” a personal familiar with the testing told The Post.

That problem is separate from what investigators say played a part in the two 737 Max crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia. In both cases, faulty information from an external sensor prompted MCAS to automatically push the noses of the planes down. The 737 Max aircraft has been grounded since March with little end in sight for travelers and airlines.

In April, FAA regulators said Boeing had to fix an additional problem with the flight-control system of the grounded planes. That issue surrounds software affecting flaps and other flight-control hardware and is critical to flight safety, officials have said.


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