The world’s largest plane maker. Boeing Co would give $100mn 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. A total of 346 people were killed in the crashes.
The multiyear payout is independent of the lawsuits and would have no impact on litigation, a Boeing spokesman said.
The $100mn, which is less than the list price of a 737 MAX 8, is meant to help with education and living expenses and to spur economic development in affected communities, Boeing said.
It did not specify which authorities or organisations would receive the money.
Many of the passengers on board the Ethiopian Airlines flight were aid workers or involved with health, food, or environmental programmes.
Boeing is in settlement talks over the Lion Air litigation and has separately offered to negotiate with families of Ethiopian Airlines victims, but some families have said they are not ready to settle, exposing the plane maker to a lengthy court battle.
The move appears to be a step toward repairing Boeing’s image, which has been severely dented by the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines plane in March just five months after a similar crash of a Lion Air flight in Indonesia.
Boeing is also a target of a US Department of Justice criminal investigation into the development of the 737 MAX, regulatory probes and more than 100 lawsuits by victims’ families.
The 737 MAX was grounded worldwide after the second crash and regulators must approve the fix and new pilot training before the jets can fly again.
But just last month, regulators identified a new problem that will delay commercial flight for the jets until October at the earliest.