A file photo showing Air India's first Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. India's aviation regulator said it had instructed Air India to ground its fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners following similar orders from authorities in the United States and Japan. AFP/Raveendran
National carrier Air India hassought compensation from Boeing for Dreamliners not meeting the 20% fuel efficiency claims as the airline could achieve only a tad over 17% fuel economy by its six 787s, an AI source said on Friday.
"We have already sent a demand notice to Boeing seeking compensation for under-delivery of fuel efficiency as our six Dreamliners on an average gave us only a little over 17% on the fuel efficiency front," the source said, without giving more details.
He, however, was quick to add that the airline is not looking at cash payback from the US company, but reduction in the final pricing of the remaining 21 Dreamliners that will be delivered to it by the end of 2016.
With this, the national carrier's demands for compensation from Boeing in regard to the Dreamliners have gone up to three.
Already, the flag carrier has demanded getting compensated for the long delay in the delivery of these big-ticket aircraft.
After more than three years of delay, last November Boeing delivered the first two of the 27 Dreamliners to AI and since then four more. AI will take delivery of the seventh one later this month under the multi-billion dollar deal.
Media reports had said AI could be seeking at least $700 million from Boeing for the delivery delays. But the actual numbers are guarded in mystery.
The other compensation demand is for the commercial loss to the airline after it was forced to ground all the six 787s after as many as 50 Dreamliners around the word reported overheating of their batteries which casued minor fire incidents since the beginning of this year.
Since then all the airlines grounded the Dreamliners. On April 19, the US federal aviation authority gave permission to Boeing to resume Dreamliner flight operations.
While aviation minister Ajit Singh went public last year saying that Boeing had agreed to monetarily compensate AI for the much-delayed delivery, a day after that Boeing president denied any such offer saying he was not waiting to write a cheque to anyone.
Last month again, the minister said, Boeing had agreed to compensate AI for the grounding of 787s, without sighting the quantum of the compensation amount.
Boeing senior vice-president Dinesh Keskar when asked about the compensation for grounding the 787s, refused to comment saying he has no information on the matter.