Boeing is still attempting to recover from the aftermath of its two 737 Max crashes in October 2018 and March 2019 that resulted in the deaths of 346 people. However, the company has made the decision to allocate $100 million to aiding communities and the families of victims that were affected by the crashes.
These funds are separate from those that must be paid to those who have sued for damages and they will be made available over the next few years. Boeing explicitly stated that the families of victims need not waive their right to sue in order to access the funds.
Just days after the second 737 crash occurred in Ethiopia, aviation regulators including the FAA decided to ban the airplane from use until the company could not only address any defects in the aircraft, but also until Boeing can confidently prove that the plane is safe for commercial use. Three months have passed since the plane was grounded and Boeing now projects that September 2019 should be when any questions surrounding the aircraft’s safety should be cleared.
Dennis Muilenburg who is the Chairman and CEO of Boeing stated in a release in which the funds were announced that Boeing is remorseful over the tragedy that has occurred. He also expressed the company’s “deepest sympathies” and the fact that he is hoping for some comfort to be achieved through provision of the funds.
This move follows the continued backlash that Boeing has been experiencing over the way it decided to handle the building of the planes at the onset. According to critics, the building of the plane was rushed, and Boeing failed to disclose the faults of the MCAS flight software. While the cause of the crashes has not been formally established, the MCAS software is believed to be the root cause.
Muilenburg stated that the primary focus is now regaining the confidence customers had in the aircraft.