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Boeing to compensate Air India for Dreamliner battery trouble

Boeing to compensate Air India for Dreamliner battery trouble

All the 50 Dreamliners delivered by Boeing to airlines across the world, including six to Air India, have been grounded following two incidents of fire and smoke in the lithium ion batteries.

Air India would get compensated by Boeing for the battery trouble plaguing its latest Dreamliner planes, all of which have been grounded, but discussions on the issue would take place later.

"There will be some compensation. ...Let us wait a while. We will discuss with Boeing only when the things settle down," Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told reporters.

He ruled out a time-frame for the discussion on compensation saying, "there can't be a last date. Safety is important. (After the problems are fixed) the FAA (US Federal Aviation Administration) has to certify the planes. The DGCA has also to certify them."

All the 50 Dreamliners delivered by Boeing to airlines across the world, including six to Air India, have been grounded following two incidents of fire and smoke in the lithium ion batteries.

Air India CMD Rohit Nandan while refusing to put in any figures said: "We have an understanding that we will be compensated. We are already operating the Boeing 777s on these routes (earlier by operated by Boeing 787 Dreamliners). Whatever be the differences between the operating costs, we may get it."

Asked about Air India's financial performance and cash flow, Nandan said it has improved considerably.

"Despite the grounding of the Dreamliners since January and a two-month strike by pilots last year, we expect to be EDIBTA (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) positive this financial year... It will be better than what has been projected in the Turnaround Plan and we hope to declare net profit before 2018," he said.