Durban - Aircraft manufacturer Boeing said on Wednesday it would be pledging $100 million to address the needs of families and communities affected by the 737 Max aircraft crashes of Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines, in which 346 people died.
"These funds will support education, hardship and living expenses for impacted families, community programmes, and economic development in impacted communities. Boeing will partner with local governments and non-profit organisations to address these needs. This initial investment will be made over multiple years," said the company, which is facing multiple lawsuits over the crashes.
Boeing chairman, president and CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, said the company was “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,” said Muilenburg.
“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,” he said.
The company would release "additional information" in the near future, it said.
"Consistent with Boeing’s regular process for employee charitable donations, company employees will also have the opportunity to make donations in support of the families and communities impacted by the accidents. Boeing will match these employee donations through December 31, 2019," said the company.
The 737 Max remains grounded following the crashes.
African News Agency (ANA)