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Airlines Starting To Mull Dreamliner Refunds

Hope To Recoup Some Lost Revenue From Cancelled Flights

They bought the airplanes, and now they can't use them. So some airlines are reportedly starting to consider "asking" Boeing to help them out with lost revenue from cancelled flights.

JAL says that the grounded Dreamliners could cost them nearly $8 million in lost earnings through the end of March, according to a report appearing in the U.K. newspaper The Independent. JAL president Yoshiharu Ueki said the top priority is getting the airplane back in the air, but once the dust settles on the immediate issue, he expects to have compensation talks with Boeing.

Kiyoshi Tonomoto, the CFO for ANA, which has 17 Dreamliners it wants to get back in the air, said that the carrier has already lost about $15 million in revenues just in January. He, too, said there are plans to "negotiate with Boeing" over the issue.

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, meanwhile, said that U.S. regulators will not be rushed to get the 787 back into service. "We're going to get this right," he said. "We have to get this right."

Both Japanese executives continue to be bullish on the Dreamliner. Ueki told the paper that the 787 is "a wonderful aircraft," but "it's a shame about the battery."

(NTSB image)

FMI: www.boeing.com, www.ntsb.gov

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