Boeing Co., the manufacturer of the beleaguered 737 Max airplane, announced on Wednesday it will earmark $100 million in funds for the families and communities of the victims killed in two separate fatal incidents involving the aircraft.
The Boeing 737 Max was grounded in March after separate crashes just three months apart on Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 killed 346 people.
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Preliminary reports showed that a new stabilization system forced both planes into a nosedive from which the pilots could not recover. Boeing has been working on a software fix for the apparent problem but, last week, the Federal Aviation Administration discovered yet another problem with the embattled aircraft.
Another flaw in the computer system was uncovered during a simulator test, pushing back the return of the 737 Max until at least October.
Boeing said the funds will support education, hardship and living expenses for impacted families, community programs, and economic development in impacted communities.
Boeing will partner with local governments and non-profit organizations to address these needs. The initial investment will be made over multiple years.
“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. The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies, and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort,” Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing chairman, president and CEO, said in a statement. “We know every person who steps aboard one of our airplanes places their trust in us. We are focused on re-earning that trust and confidence from our customers and the flying public in the months ahead.”
Boeing will match any related employee donations through December 31, 2019.