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India Says Boeing Must Pay Damages After Dreamliner Grounding

Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Boeing Co. must compensate state-run Air India Ltd. for losses the national carrier may have incurred after grounding its fleet of 787 Dreamliner aircraft, an Indian official said.

“We have to understand the scale of the problem, the delays it will cause and what impact it’ll have overall,” Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told reporters in New Delhi today. The Indian carrier will wait for the U.S. safety review to be completed before seeking damages, he said.

Air India joins Poland’s state-run Polskie Linie Lotnicze Lot SA in studying claims for compensation after the Federal Aviation Administration grounded the 787 to prove that lithium-ion batteries in the model were safe. The global grounding followed a battery fire that forced an All Nippon 787 to make an emergency landing in Japan on Jan. 16 and other incidents last week.

Air India hasn’t yet changed its plan to purchase the Dreamliners, of which it has six in its fleet and 21 more on order, Singh said. The carrier, which in April received a government bailout worth 300 billion rupees, had plans to induct two more Dreamliners by March 31.

To contact the reporter on this story: Karthikeyan Sundaram in New Delhi at kmeenakshisu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at anandk@bloomberg.net

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