WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland is determined to get compensation from Boeing (BA.N) for the glitches haunting its 787 Dreamliner jets which are used by the country’s state-controlled carrier LOT LOT.UL, its treasury minister said on Wednesday.
“When it comes to Dreamliners I would say it’s a rather nervous dream,” Wlodzimierz Karpinski told Polish public radio in an interview.
“I’m angry. There are problems not only for the Polish airlines. I want to ensure that we will seek compensation from the producer with full determination.”
LOT is one of the 13 airlines that fly the 787, which was expected to be a game-changer for the aviation industry as its use of lighter materials and new engines promised 20 percent savings in fuel consumption.
LOT has already said it was demanding compensation for lost revenue linked to a number of Dreamliner problems and has given Boeing until the end of the year to settle over faults or face court action.
The Polish flag carrier, which has struggled for years with huge operating losses, has estimated the cost of Dreamliner problems at 100 million zlotys ($32.1 million).
“Besides a loss of face, this also disrupts LOT’s coming out of the woods in the course of restructuring,” Karpinski said.
“LOT’s results are a few million zlotys better than planned, but it still books an operating loss. The tendency is good, but the road ahead of us is long and probably we’ll have to use the next tranche of public aid.”
The ailing carrier, which has already received 400 million zlotys in help from the Treasury, is undergoing a restructuring program that includes layoffs and cancelling some of its flight connections.
LOT, which began flying in 1929 and is one of the world’s oldest airlines, has been hit by low-cost competitors such as Ryanair (RYA.I) and easyJet (EZJ.L), as well as high fuel prices and falling demand during the euro zone crisis.
Reporting by Adrian Krajewski; Editing by Mark Potter