Ethiopian Air wants compensation for 787 grounding

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia (AP) — The chief executive of Ethiopian Airlines said Tuesday that his company will seek compensation from Boeing for the grounding of its 787 Dreamliner planes.

Tewolde Gebremariam told The Associated Press that his company will soon start discussions with Boeing over compensation.

A Boeing spokesman, Daniel Mosely, said the company has been in close communication with its customers regarding compensation since January, when Dreamliners around the world were grounded because of overheating lithium batteries. Mosely said details of the conversations are confidential.

Ethiopian Airlines began flying the 787s again last month after the battery problem was fixed. Gebremariam said his company’s focus had been on getting the Dreamliners back into service. Now that they are flying again, the company’s next step is to start compensation discussions with Boeing.

The 50 Dreamliner jets in service worldwide were grounded in mid-January after incidents with smoldering batteries occurred aboard two different planes, leading to hundreds of cancelled flights and revenue losses.

Japan’s two biggest carriers have the most 787s — All Nippon Airways owns 17 of the jets, while Japan Airlines has seven. The U.S. carrier United has six.

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