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Air India, Boeing to hold talks on aircraft deliveries


MUMBAI (PTI): A team of Boeing executives is arriving here from the United States to discuss with Air India management issues relating to aircraft deliveries, including 27 Dreamliners whose delivery has been delayed.

The team, comprising about eight officers, is likely to give a presentation to officials of the national carrier on Monday, sources said here.

The discussions between Air India and Boeing officials are expected to centre around issues like aircraft deliveries, payment of compensation for delayed deliveries and aircraft financing, the sources said.

Boeing is expected to start delivery of its latest B-787 aircraft or Dreamliners to Air India by the first half of the next calendar year.

These planes were to be delivered to Air India in 2008, but the production lines in Boeing's Seattle headquarters were affected by strikes and other problems which delayed the supplies.

It is estimated that Air India will have to make payments of Rs 22,000 crore for aircraft deliveries this year as against Rs 12,000 crore last year.

In 2005, Air India had placed orders for 68 planes – 18 single aisle B737-800 planes, 27 Dreamliners (B787-800) and another 23 B-777 aircraft. Of the 23 Boeing 777s, 15 are B777 -300 ER planes and eight Boeing 777-200-LR aircraft.

As per the contract, Air India was scheduled to receive the first 27 Dreamliner in the second half of 2008.

However, after delays in deliveries, Air India slapped a fine of $710 million on Boeing which agreed to pay $145 million but negotiations have since continued.

Air India also wants to cancel its orders for three Boeing 777-300 Extended Range aircraft. But Boeing is understood to have made an offer saying it was ready to deliver ten 737-800 aircraft in place of the three planes with a staggered delivery schedule.

Air India has so far taken delivery of 18 B737-800s and eight B777-200 LRs. Of the 15 B777-300 ER aircraft, it has received 11 planes till May while four more are to be delivered by August next year.

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