Poland agrees compensation with Boeing over Dreamliners-minister

WARSAW Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:29am EST

WARSAW Dec 10 (Reuters) - Polish flagship carrier LOT has agreed with U.S. plane maker Boeing on compensation for the faults that grounded its 787 Dreamliner jets, Treasury Minister Wlodzimierz Karpinski was quoted as saying by local media on Tuesday.

Karpinski did not say whether Boeing agreed to pay the compensation in cash or lower lease rates for the Dreamliners, but said the deal was "satisfactory" for LOT.

The Polish flag airline, which has struggled for years with huge operating losses, has estimated the cost of Dreamliner problems at 100 million zlotys ($32.1 million).

"We signed an agreement that regulates issues related to our usage of the Dreamliners," Karpinski told daily Rzeczpospolita. "I cannot offer any details, however, this is classified. I can only say we are satisfied."

LOT, one of the world's oldest airlines, is one of 13 carriers that fly the 787, a plane that was to be a game-changer for the aviation industry because its use of lighter materials promises 20 percent savings in fuel consumption.

Poland had been banking on the acquisition of Dreamliner jets from Boeing to improve its fortunes. But those aircraft have been repeatedly grounded due to technical problems.

Just last week a Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by LOT was grounded in Chicago after strong winds on a flight from Warsaw to the United States damaged its spoiler.

Karpinski also reiterated that Warsaw, to help its aviation industry fare better, could merge its airline firms into a single holding, which would combine assets of LOT, airports and other firms worth around 2.5 billion euros. The holding could then be privatised.

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