JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The CEO of the Lion Air, whose Boeing 737 Max 8 jet crashed a year ago off the coast of Indonesia killing 189 people, vowed Tuesday to follow recommendations from a probe into the disaster.
Improving safety is a “never ending job,” Edward Sirait, Lion Air’s CEO, said as he expressed condolences to relatives of those who died when the flight from Jakarta crashed into the Java Sea minutes after it took off on Oct. 29, 2018.
Relatives of victims scattered flowers Tuesday on waters where the aircraft went down.
“We from the Lion group deeply feel the loss of our brothers and sisters and hope that the families left behind will share their strength,” Sirait said.
Indonesian transport officials released a report on the Lion Air accident Friday that said faulty design by Boeing, inadequate training for the pilots and lapses in maintenance doomed Lion Air flight 610.
A lawyer for Boeing expressed his sympathies and urged family members of the victims to seek compensation from a $50 million fund set up to help them.
The lawyer, Ibrahim Senen, said 25 people had received compensation and 40 were in the process of obtaining it. Other relatives should come forward, he urged.
Each family is entitled to $144,500, Senen said. Boeing has also set up a scholarship fund.
Senen said families should not worry that by accepting compensation they might give up their right to sue over the crash.
“These funds are voluntary in nature and there is no obligation for recipients to sign any letters relinquishing victims’ rights,’ Senen said.
Boeing Co. is still working to fix its best-selling plane seven months after all Max jets were grounded following a second crash on March 10 in Ethiopia, which killed 157 people.
Anton Sahadi, who lost two nephews in the crash, said his family welcomed Boeing’s offer. He and other families said Lion Air was requiring families to sign an agreement giving up their rights to sue in order to obtain compensation.
“No matter how much compensation we get, it won’t bring our loved ones back,” Sahadi told The Associated Press after arriving back at a port in northern Jakarta following the anniversary memorial.
“But we accept the goodwill from Boeing and hope it will encourage Lion Air to do the same. We expect the Indonesian government to force the airline to do that,” he said.
The Indonesian investigators faulted design decisions by Boeing that made the plane vulnerable to failure of a single sensor. They chastised U.S. safety regulators for certifying the plane.
They also criticized Lion Air, for inadequate pilot training and maintenance lapses.