Following a spring and summer hamstrung by scandal, Boeing announced today that the families affected by the two 737 Max 8 crashes will each receive $144,500.
The crashes of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 resulted in the deaths of 346 passengers and crew members. The plane has been grounded since March.
Boeing announced in July it would set aside over $100 million for the “family and community needs of those affected” by the crashes. Half of that is to provide the families “immediate financial assistance,” and the rest will go toward toward supporting “education and economic empowerment in impacted communities,” Boeing said in a statement.
Family members will not be required to waive or release their right to sue Boeing in order to receive compensation. That’s crucial considering that more than 100 lawsuits have been filed against Boeing from lawyers representing the families of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, Reuters reported.
“The recent 737 MAX tragedies weigh heavily on all of us at Boeing, and we continue to extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of all those on board,” said Dennis Muilenburg, chairman, president and CEO of The Boeing Company, in a statement.
“It doesn’t mean that this is all the families are going to get,” said aviation expert Seth Kaplan. “Boeing is trying to get out ahead of things with an amount that is at least what they are going to have to pay.”
As of now, the MAX 8 is predicted to be back in some airlines’ rotations by early 2020, once it is recertified by the Federal Aviation Administration
“It’s just a question of time,” Kaplan said. “There’s not going to be a moment where everyone instantly feels good about this plane. A year is going to go by with safe operations, and we’ll realize it’s been a while without an event. It’s in Boeing’s best interest not to rush this.”