New York, United States | THE INDEPENDENT & AFP | Boeing has said it is ready to give about $144,500 (Sh530 million) to support each of the families of the 346 people killed in two 737 MAX plane crashes.
The 346 will include the family of Christine Alalo, police commissioner based in Somalia who was the only Ugandan to die in the crashes.
The deceased Ugandan officer was one of the 147 passengers aboard Ethiopian Airline flight ET 302, which crashed in March shortly after taking off from Bole International Airport in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa. Alalo was returning from Italy to Mogadishu in Somalia where she has been serving as acting Police Commissioner under the African Union Mission-AMISOM.
Boeing said in a statement that the two administrators of the Boeing Financial Assistance Fund, Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille S. Biros have announced that the fund – designed to provide $50 million in immediate financial assistance to the families of victims of the Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 accidents – will begin operations today.
“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. “The opening of this fund is an important step in our efforts to help affected families.”
The $50 million Boeing Financial Assistance Fund represents the initial expenditure of a $100 million pledge by Boeing to address family and community needs of those affected by the tragedies. The additional $50 million in funds will support education and economic empowerment in impacted communities. Boeing is developing partnerships with local governments and non-profit organizations to address those varying needs.
Who was Alalo?
Alalo was working with the African Mission in Somalia (AMISON), a peacekeeping force that is battling to keep security in the troubled country where Al-Shabaab Islamist extremists launch frequent attacks.
Alalo, a Ugandan national and mother of two who was serving as the mission’s acting police commissioner, was returning to Mogadishu from Italy.
She joined Uganda Police Force as a cadet on August 18, 2001 and went on to serve in various command positions. She is survived by two children identified as Emmanuel and Alvin.
“She was a highly respected member of the force who loved her job,” Uganda’s police force said in a statement.
Meanwhile, The Federal Aviation Administration said Monday that it still has no time-frame to lift the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX, and that individual countries will decide when the plane can fly again.
“Our first priority is safety, and we have set no time-frame for when the work will be completed. Each government will make its own decision to return the aircraft to service, based on a thorough safety assessment,” the FAA said in a statement.
The statement — which points to a lack of consensus among regulators on when to clear the MAX for service — followed a meeting of international regulators in Canada more than six months after the top-selling Boeing plane was grounded following the second of two deadly crashes that together claimed 346 lives.