JAL says eyeing talks on Dreamliner compensation

TOKYO (AFP) - Japan Airlines said on Tuesday it is planning to talk to US aviation giant Boeing about compensation over the prolonged grounding of the Dreamliner.

JAL's president Yoshiharu Ueki said the immediate priority is to get the planes in the air again, but that JAL will broach the subject with its supplier at a later date.

"The important thing now is getting the 787 flying again safely as soon as possible, but we are preparing to begin these (compensation) talks when things get better," Mr Ueki said, a JAL spokesman told AFP.

The carrier and rival All Nippon Airways (ANA) have been hit by the worldwide grounding of the Dreamliner after a number of incidents including a fire on a JAL plane in Boston and an emergency landing on an ANA flight in Japan.

The global no-fly order imposed by US regulators has seen Japan's two biggest carriers - major customers of the aircraft, with more than 100 combined orders - slash hundreds of flights, affecting tens of thousands of passengers.

Regulators have said they will not allow the 787 to fly again until they are sure the problems around the battery system are fixed.

Asked about ANA's plans for compensation talks with Boeing, a spokesman said: "Until the situation and all the facts around the incidents come to light, we can't start such talks."

ANA has 17 Dreamliners and JAL has seven - almost half the 50 planes currently in operation worldwide.

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