Air India (AI) will be compensated by aircraft maker Boeing for the battery trouble that led to the grounding of its Dreamliner fleet.
“There will be some compensation....let us wait a while. We will discuss with Boeing, only when the things settle down,” aviation minister Ajit Singh said here on Wednesday. Air India chairman and managing director Rohit Nandan also said: “We have an understanding that we will be compensated.”
“We are already operating the Boeing 777s on these routes (earlier operated by Boeing 787 Dreamliners). Whatever be the differences between the operating costs, we may get it,” Nandan said while refusing to put in any figures.
Nandan said he expected AI to EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) positive this financial year. “Despite the grounding of the Dreamliners since January and a two-month strike by pilots last year, we expect to be EDIBTA 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.
If Air India’s financial results are positive, it would be for the first time in the past five years, Nandan said.
Between April 2012 and this January, Air India’s revenue from passengers increased 8.3%, load factor increased to 71.8% from 68.5%, yield was up 19.2% and the number of passengers carried was higher by 3.4%, the AI chief said.
On AI’s plans to sell off five Boeing 777-200s, he said, “We have an offer for all the five planes” but refused to disclose anything further.