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Wednesday, 6th February 2013

JAL suggests it will ask for compensation from Boeing for grounded fleet

Boeing continues to stay in the news after Japan Airlines (JAL), a company which has been caught up in the issues surrounding the 787 Dreamliners, suggested that it would be seeking compensation for the costs of grounding its fleet.

According to JAL, the cost of having its entire fleet of 787s grounded is not yet known although the airline has predicted that it will be in the region of 700 million yen (GBP 4.8 million) if they remain out of the skies until March 2013. It did not comment on the ongoing cost.

JAL is not the only Japanese airline affected by the Dreamliner's problems. The BBC reported that Japan's All Nippon Airways has had to cancel more than 1,200 flights since its fleet of 787s was grounded. It reported that this has resulted in a loss of 1.4 billion yen (GBP £9.5 million) so far.

Yoshiharu Ueki, president of JAL, suggested that the company's immediate priority was to get its fleet up in the air again.

He said: "The most important thing is to be able to fly the 787 safely again, rather than compensation. So, obviously, we are preparing to discuss such matters when the situation comes under control, but we are not talking [to Boeing] about that yet."

The planes were grounded following a series of fires which it is believed may have been caused by batteries. Boeing has contacted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in the hope that it will be able to conduct a test flight to see how the batteries respond in the air.

Marc Birtel, a spokesman for Boeing, said: "[The company] has submitted an application to conduct 787 test flights and it is currently under evaluation by the FAA."

All 50 Boeing 787 Dreamliners in service are currently grounded as investigators aim to understand what has caused the issues with the planes.

A Japanese company, GS Yuasa, makes the lithium-ion batteries which are at the centre of Boeing's investigations.

Related news stories:
Boeing asked to provide operating history of Dreamliner batteries (31st January 2013)
ANA launches in-flight wi-fi (4th March 2014)