Boeing to pay bereaved families N50.57 million per 737 Max victim
American commercial plane manufacturer, Boeing, will pay the families of passengers who died in two 737 Max crashes the sum of N50.57 ($144,500) per person.
The company disclosed that a N17.5 billion ($50 million) financial assistance fund was announced in July and will now be open to claims from family members.
One hundred and fifty persons, among them two Nigerians, died last March when a B737 Max aircraft operated by Ethiopian Airlines crashed shortly after takeoff from Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The tragedy came about five months after a Lion Air B737 Max flight went down over the Java Sea last, killing all 189 people on board.
A problem with the aircraft’s flight control software was initially identified as the cause, but later Boeing said further software problems had been found requiring further work.
All 737 Max planes have been banned from flying since March after crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia that together killed 346 people in a space of five months.
The bereaved family members will not be required to give up their right sue if they opt to take up money from the fund.
“We continue to extend our deepest sympathies to the families and loved ones of all those on board,” said Boeing Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dennis Muilenburg.
“The opening of this fund is an important step in our efforts to help affected families,” Muilenburg said.
Boeing said it assumes the 737 Max would return to service in the U.S. and other countries in the autumn, but could not give an exact date.
However, last week Federal Aviation Administration chief, Steve Dickson, said Boeing was not yet ready to return the 737 Max to service, with steps including submitting a pre-production version of a software update yet to be completed.
The 737 Max began flying passengers in 2017 and is Boeing’s best selling aircraft. Despite this, less than 400 have been delivered to airlines. In July, Boeing said there would be a $4.9 billion (£3.9 billion) charge to compensate airlines following the prolonged grounding of the 737 Max.