Japan Airlines to seek damages over Dreamliner grounding | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 04.02.2013
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Japan Airlines to seek damages over Dreamliner grounding

Japan Airlines (JAL) has said it will seek compensation from US planemaker Boeing after the costs of grounding its 787 Dreamliner fleet has been determined. The idled airplanes have weighed on JAL annual earnings.

Japan Airlines predicted the impact of grounding its seven Boeing Dreamliner airplanes at around 700 million yen (5.5 million euros) for the rest of this fiscal year, ending in March 2013.

It was more important for the airline to get the 787's flying again as soon as possible rather than seeking compensation, said JAL President Yoshiharu Ueki in Tokyo on Monday.

"However, when the situation has settled down we can and are preparing to begin those [compensation] talks," he added.

Japan Airlines, which is attempting to make a comeback from bankruptcy last fall, is raising claims for damages after US authorities grounded all 50 Boeing 787 airplanes in global use due to battery problems. JAL's Japanese rival All Nippon Airways also said last week that it would seek compensation from Boeing.

JAL said the grounding of its 787 fleet would postpone the launch of a nonstop service between Tokyo and Helsinki scheduled to begin February, 25.

On Monday, the airline unveiled a 3.7-percent drop in net profit for the first three quarters of its 2012 fiscal year, which started in March 2012.

However, revenues rose 3.6 percent to 942 billion yen (7.5 billion euros) due to robust demand on European, North American and southeast Asian routes, which would help offset the impact of the 787's grounding, JAL said.

Therefore, JAL raised its profit estimate for the whole fiscal year to 163 billion yen from an earlier forecast of 140 billion yen.

uhe/hc (Reuters, AP, AFP)

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