Boeing announced Wednesday that it would give USD 100 million to communities and families affected by two crashes on its 737 MAX planes that claimed 346 lives. Describing the sum as an "initial investment" over multiple years, the company said it would work with local governments and non-profit organisations to provide "hardship and living expenses" and boost economic development in regions affected by crashes of planes operated by Ethiopian Airlines and Lion Air.
Boeing faces numerous lawsuits filed by the victims' families, some of whom have appeared at news conferences or during congressional hearings probing the disasters.
The USD 100 million figure is less than the list price for several leading 737 MAX planes. Boeing said it would also match donations from employees to families and communities affected by the accidents.
"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," said Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg in a statement to the media.
"The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort," he added. Boeing referenced "multiple lawsuits" in an April securities filing, saying it was also cooperating with various regulatory probes.
"We cannot reasonably estimate a range of loss, if any, that may result given the ongoing status of these lawsuits, investigations, and inquiries," the company said in the securities filing.