Boeing’s fund for Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes relief has started operations, the U.S. planemaker announced on September 23, 2019. The fund is to provide $50 million, half of Boeing’s initial $100 million pledge, for the victims' families in “immediate financial assistance”.  

In particular, the $50 million will be spent to “address family and community needs” of people affected by the crashes, Boeing explains, adding that further $50 million will also go to the affected communities for “education and economic empowerment ”. 

The planemaker also has established a separate charitable fund, One Boeing Support Fund. Boeing employees are asked to donate to the latter fund with a promise that the company will match the donated sum in a dollar-for-dollar manner. the fund will support programs that focus on education and economic empowerment.

Boeing announced $100 million in funds for the families and communities of Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 victims in June 2019. The announcement was met with criticism by some victims’ families, who had called it a “half baked” promise and “public relations” stunt.  

“Boeing has never reached out to families about the impossible sorrow and grief we will carry for our entire lives,” Paul Njoroge, a person whose wife, mother-in-law and three children died during Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 crash, has previously explained to the U.S. Congress members. “Instead they have a press relations strategy to apologize to cameras and propose half-baked promises to give $100 million to local governments and nonprofit organizations”.

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Family members of Ethiopian Airlines flight ET302 victims have spoken at a U.S. Congressional hearing on July 17, 2019. Calling Boeing’s actions in the aftermath of two MAX 8 jets crashes “shameful” and “a disgrace to humanity”, they have provided recommendations for improving aviation safety.
 

Main image: Protest outside the Boeing Annual General Meeting in April 2019.