Air India flies grounded 787; JAL eyes compensation

Air India has flown its Boeing Co. 787s since aviation authorities around the world grounded the jet Jan. 16.

India’s civil aviation authority gave the carrier permission to fly its 787s to Air India’s engineering base in Mumbai after the global grounding of the Dreamliner, reports the Wall Street Journal. Air India did not fly passengers on those flights to Mumbai.

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration grounded Boeing’s 787 after two battery incidents took place on Dreamliners within two weeks. The FAA’s order includes Boeing test and delivery flights of the 787. In terms of commercial flights, the FAA only has authority over United Airlines, the only U.S.-based carrier that currently operates 787s. However, aviation regulators around the world have followed the FAA’s lead in grounding the 787.

Investigators have yet to pinpoint a cause in the 787’s battery problems. The jet’s grounding could last between 30 and 120 days, notes analyst Scott Hamilton on his Leeham Co. blog post this morning.

Japan Airlines said it will discuss compensation with Boeing. The carrier estimates a loss of almost $8 million for 787 groundings through March. JAL has seven 787s.

JAL’s rival, All Nippon Airways, estimated last week that the 787’s grounding has cost the carrier $15.4 million. The Dreamliner’s launch customer, ANA has 17 787s in its fleet.

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