Boeing pledges $100 million to those affected by Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max crashes

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Posted at 3:00 AM, Jul 04, 2019

Boeing on Wednesday pledged to pay $100 million to individuals impacted by the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes that killed a total of 346 people.

"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," Boeing Chairman and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said in a press release. "The families and loved ones of those on board have our deepest sympathies, and we hope this initial outreach can help bring them comfort."

Boeing will partner with local governments and non-profit organizations to support "education, hardship and living expenses for impacted families, community programs, and economic development in impacted communities."

The company is also allowing its employees to make donations to the families and communities affected by the crashes. Boeing vowed to match employee donations throughout the next six months.

Boeing's pledge comes a week after U.S. Federal Aviation Administration pilots found a new potential issue with the 737 Max aircraft involved in both fatal crashes during a simulated flight last week, according to two sources familiar with the matter.

The new flaw, traced to how data is being processed by the flight computer, affected pilots' abilities to quickly and easily follow the required recovery procedures for the runaway stabilizer, sources told ABC News. The problem is not related to reported problems with an anti-stall system, called MCAS, but connected to a broader anti-stall system called "speed trim."

Muilenburg addressed the additional complication with the 737 Max aircraft, which has been grounded since March, in a video he uploaded to his Twitter account Wednesday.

"Through our comprehensive review process with the FAA, we determined last week there’s an additional flight condition we must address to reduce pilot workload and ensure the safety of the airplane and the flying public," Muilenburg said.

He said Boeing agrees with the FAA that they "must take action," and that they're "already working on the required software."

Boeing said in a SEC filing on June 26 that it will not offer the 737 Max for certification by the FAA until we "have satisfied all requirements for certification of the MAX and its safe return to service."

"We know every person who steps aboard one of our airplanes places their trust in us," Muilenburg said in a release. "We are focused on re-earning that trust and confidence from our customers and the flying public in the months ahead."

Southwest Airlines, United Airlines and American Airlines have all extended flight cancellations related to the Boeing 737 Max grounding through the fall.