According to Bloomberg, Asiana Airlines Inc. plans to pay initial compensation of $10,000 to each of the survivors. A spokesperson for the airline said the carrier may pay more after the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board completes its investigation into the accident. According to the airline, the survivors “need money to go to hospital or for transportation so we are giving them the $10,000 first,” Lee said in a telephone interview. “Even if they are not hurt or they don’t go to hospital, we will still give them this money.”
Three people died when an Asiana Boeing Co. 777 struck a seawall short of a runway at San Francisco International Airport on July 6, sending the plane spinning off the tarmac. More than 300 survived the crash, the first fatal airline accident in the U.S. since 2009. The families of those who died last month were paid more than $10,000 as initial compensation, Lee said. Passengers can sue the carrier even after accepting the compensation, Lee said. The company is asking for a receipt to record the payment, rather than an agreement, she said.
The July 6 accident was Asiana’s worst since 1993, when a Boeing 737 crashed in Mokpo, south of Seoul, killing 66 people, according to the National Archives of Korea. The airline’s previous disaster was the crash of its cargo freighter in the sea south of Jeju island in July 2011. The accident dented Asiana’s reputation as one of the top carriers in the world for service. South Korea plans to tighten aviation rules as the crash triggered concerns about the nation’s safety regulations.
South Korea’s second biggest carrier may take a charge of at least 20 billion won ($18 million) from the crash, pushing it into a loss for the year, five analysts said after the accident. Insurance payments won’t cover the loss of aircraft, litigation and other charges. The crash has also led to a decrease in the number of passengers following the accident, Cho Byoung Hee, an analyst at Kiwoom Securities Co., said last month.