Fali Major to steer AI’s Boeing talks | india | Hindustan Times
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Fali Major to steer AI’s Boeing talks

National carrier Air India has requisitioned the services of retired Air Force chief Fali H. Major, as it gets ready to negotiate a compensation claim aircraft manufacturing major Boeing, for delays in the delivery of planes.

india Updated: Aug 25, 2010 20:34 IST
Tushar Srivastava

National carrier Air India has requisitioned the services of retired Air Force chief Fali H. Major, as it gets ready to negotiate a compensation claim aircraft manufacturing major Boeing, for delays in the delivery of planes.

Major is an independent director on AI’s Board. In an e-mailed reply to Hindustan Times, AI confirmed that Major is part of the team that would negotiate with Boeing. AI has already shot off a letter to the Seattle-based aviation giant demanding $840 million as compensation for the delays.

AI in its last board meeting had decided that a team comprising “senior management officials” be constituted to negotiate the compensation claim.

The carrier had placed an order for 27 B-787 Dreamliners with Boeing. According to the original schedule, the first plane was to have been delivered in September 2008, and one every subsequent month. It now appears, however, that the first of these aircraft will arrive only in April next year.

By March 2011, Boeing was to have delivered 18 of these premium aircraft as per the original delivery schedule.

Sources said Major’s past experience in negotiating defence deals should come in handy for the state carrier. The team, sources said, is expected to leave shortly for the US for talks with Boeing officials. However, the exact dates are not known. “The dates for the team’s visit to the Boeing Company have not yet been finalised,” AI said.

Sources said Boeing has offered a maximum compensation of $145.8 million (about R670 crore) — a fraction of the amount sought.

The Board also decided to take-up with Boeing to increase the compensation amount to be paid per day by the company from $15,000 (R6.9 lakh) to $30,000 (R13.8 lakh) against productivity losses.