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Boeing in compensation talks over 787 delays

Planemaker says "no question" it disappointed Dreamliner customers.
NEWS, Aviation

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Boeing, the US-based planemaker, is in compensation talks with airlines over delays to the delivery of its 787 Dreamliner aircraft, a senior executive said.

Boeing has postponed 787 deliveries seven times, resulting in a three-year delay, after grappling with new materials, engine supply disruptions and other problems.

“There is no question we have disappointed our customers in terms of the schedule of the 787, it has been a difficult time for them,” Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing, said in an interview from the Paris Air Show.

“We are clearly looking for ways to find a pathway to compensation for their damages in the way that works best for both of us. We are really looking for win-win, so we are working through that with every customer.”

More than 830 of the jets are on order to 55 airlines, including Gulf carriers Qatar Airways, Gulf Air and Etihad Airways and Amman-based Royal Jordanian.

Royal Jordanian CEO Hussein Dabbas said in May the airline had suffered “huge” losses as a result of delays to the fuel-efficient 787, at a time of $100 oil.

“The 787 consumes 20 percent less fuel [than the Airbus 340],” he said. “[The cost is] definitely millions, absolutely.”

Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways which has 30 787s on order and an option for 30 more, said in December he would consider cancelling the order if there were further delays in the plane’s delivery.

Tinseth said demand for the fuel-efficient Dreamliner had increased on the back of soaring oil prices, the pressure of which in June caused global airlines to halve their profit forecast to $4bn.

“When we launched the 787 in the year 2004 the average price of a barrel of oil was $38. Because that airplane is so fuel-efficient the value proposition has gotten stronger over the last several years,” Tinseth said.

Boeing said Thursday it forecast a $4 trillion market for new aircraft over the next two decades, and named the fast-growing Middle East airlines as a major driver for growth.

The region will account for 2,520 – or 7.5 percent – of the aircraft orders expected to 2030, Boeing said, with a combined value of $450bn.

Globally, single-aisle aircraft are expected to dominate orders and account for 70 percent of new aircraft by 2030, the company said.

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