Boeing faces pressure for cash compensation over 787

Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:14pm EDT
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By Tim Kelly and Kentaro Sugiyama

TOKYO (Reuters) - Pressure grew on Wednesday for Boeing to compensate airlines in hard cash for disruption caused by the grounding of its 787 Dreamliner as two airlines maneuvered for immediate help instead of future purchase discounts.

Leading 787 customer All Nippon Airways wants cash refunds, rather than discounts on future orders, for losses inflicted by the worldwide grounding in place since mid-January, a person familiar with the airline's intentions told Reuters.

In India, a senior government source said state carrier Air India would take the same stand in favor of direct refunds.

All 50 Dreamliners delivered worldwide since it entered service in late 2011 were idled after separate incidents with the plane's battery at a U.S. airport and on a domestic flight in Japan.

ANA operates 17 of those aircraft and is likely to have been hit hardest by having them out of service. The airline has cancelled more than 3,600 flights to the end of May.

"ANA would prefer to have the cash," said the person, who asked not to be identified, adding that compensation talks with Boeing had not yet begun.

"This is not something we have disclosed," said ANA spokesman Ryosei Nomura. "Nothing has been decided regarding future talks with Boeing."

Air India has six of the $200 million jets and has ordered 21 more.   Continued...

All Nippon Airways (ANA) Co's Senior Executive Vice President and next president Osamu Shinobe poses behind a model of ANA's Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner plane and under the company logo after an interview with Reuters in Tokyo March 18, 2013. REUTERS/Toru Hanai