Polish airline unhappy with reimbursement for 787 grounding

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The Dreamliner airplane was grounded by the Federal Aviation Administration and other international aviation regulators after a series of battery failures that resulted in at least on electric fire.

LOT spokesman Robert Moren said the airline was the first European airline to operate the 787 before it was shutdown. He added that the airline had already received five Dreamliners, and has ordered eight of the jets in total. 

The Polish airline's unhappiness with Boeing was first reported this week by Bloomberg News.

Moren told the news service that the grounding hurt the airlines that purchased 787s more than it impacted Boeing financially.   

"Maybe this did not have any impact on the profit side of Boeing, but in fact we were not satisfied at all financially,” Moren said in the interview. “Those [costs] are not probably gigantic money for Boeing, but for us — while we are in the process of restructuring — it’s quite substantial.”

The amount of Boeing's initial payment to LOT Polish Airlines has not yet been disclosed.

The comments from Polish Airlines this week came after Boeing CEO Jim McNerney reported in a conference call with company shareholders that it had generated $21.8 billion in revenue in the second quarter of 2013.

McNerney attributed the quarter, which he called "strong," in part to the "successful launch of the 787-10." 

"Continued strong core operating performance drove higher earnings, revenue and operating cash flow during the quarter, and we returned significant value to shareholders through share repurchases and increased dividends," McNerney said in a statement.

"We also further strengthened our market-leading position in commercial airplanes with the successful launch of the 787-10 and $40 billion of new orders, while our defense, space and security business delivered improved margins and market share in a tough market," the Boeing CEO continued. "Overall, our strong first-half performance and positive outlook allows us to raise our 2013 earnings and revenue guidance, and our team remains intensely focused on execution, productivity and quality to meet our customer commitments and further drive growth.”
 
LOT Polish's Moren said in the Bloomberg interview that the company was still confident in the 787, despite it's unhappiness with the three-month grounding of the airplane.

“We take this as a childhood-age sickness; it will go quickly away,” Moren said. “The Dreamliner will become a profitable aircraft for LOT.”

A spokesperson for Boeing said in response to the Polish Airlines' comments "we remain in close contact with our customer on the matter and the details of those discussions are private."

-This post was originally posted at 12:09 p.m. and it was updated with new information at 3:05 p.m.

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