Boeing’s 737 Max 8 planes have been grounded since March following two crashes, caused by malfunctioning software, that left 346 people dead. On Tuesday Boeing announced it would be spending $100 million in the coming years to aid the families affected by the tragedies.
The company said the funds will address “family and community needs” and support “education, hardship and living expenses for impacted families, community programs and economic development in impacted communities.” Boeing will work with local governments and non-profit organizations to carry out the aid.
The first 737 Max 8 crash occured Oct. 29, when Lion Air flight 610 crashed in the Java Sea 13 minutes after takeoff from Jakarta, Indonesia, killing 189 people. Then, on March 10, Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 departed Addis Ababa Bole International Airport bound for Nairobi, Kenya. Just after takeoff, the pilot radioed a distress call and was given immediate clearance to return and land. But before the crew could make it back, the aircraft crashed 40 miles from the airport at 8:44 a.m., six minutes after it left the runway.
The official causes of the crashes, which appear to be similar, are still under study. Investigation teams in Indonesia and Ethiopia are focusing on faulty sensors and a flight control system designed to push the nose down in the air. Boeing says it has completed the necessary update for review by the FAA. But as of now, the agency has not said when that will happen.
“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 Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing CEO, in a statement. “The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies, and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort.”