Japan carriers mull claims over Dreamliner grounding

TOKYO - Japan's two major airlines said yesterday they were planning to make a compensation claim against US plane making giant Boeing over the prolonged grounding of the troubled Dreamliner.

Japan Airlines and rival All Nippon Airways have been hit by the worldwide parking of the 787 after a number of incidents including a fire on a JAL plane in Boston and the emergency landing of an ANA flight in Japan. Both were caused by battery malfunctions.

The global no-fly order imposed by US regulators in mid-January has seen Japan's two biggest carriers major customers of the aircraft, with more than 100 combined orders had to slash thousands of flights.

"The company is considering seeking compensation," an ANA spokesman told AFP. "We have the intention to do so."

But he also said actual negotiations with Boeing will come after all the facts of the incidents are known.

A JAL spokesman also said the airline is preparing to talk to its supplier about compensation.

"But for now the company will cooperate with Boeing so that the 787s can get back in the air as soon as possible," he said.

The Asahi Shimbun daily reported yesterday that ANA "has already informed Boeing of its intention to seek compensation", citing an unnamed senior ANA official.

Neither airline intends to cancel any orders for the next-generation aircraft, the paper said.

Boeing said last month that the 50 planes grounded around the world since the two lithium-ion battery malfunctions sparked the grounding would undergo fixes to their systems and be operational again soon.

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