Boeing has acknowledged its embarrassment over the effect of delays on customers in the Asia Pacific region and despite a characteristic refusal by some executives here to discuss compensation payments, one manager freely offered a gesture of contrition.
“We are not happy it has happened and we will deal with all our customers in order to meet their satisfaction,” senior sales vice president Dinesh Kaskar told AIN yesterday.
On the question of compensation payments to Air India (which has ordered 27 aircraft) among others, Kaskar said, “It happens all the time. [Air India] is accountable to the Indian parliament.”
Air India yesterday revealed that it issued tender to lease both Airbus and Boeing airplanes in part to compensate for the lost capacity that will result from the delay of the 787. The tender document reportedly names as possible type selections Boeing 747-400, B777-200ER, B777-300ER, B777-200LR, Airbus 330-200 and A340-300. If it takes used aircraft, Air India would want the aircraft delivered in phases until 2011. New aircraft deliveries could extend to 2016.
Other airlines in the Asia Pacific region likely in line for compensatory payments include All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines, Jetstar and Qantas.
Meanwhile, several 787 program partners and suppliers have expressed equal concern over the delays. Wichita-based Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, formerly part of the Boeing Military Airplane company, said earlier this month that it was “seeking equitable adjustment.” It was scheduled to supply Boeing with 45 nose sections for the 787 during 2008 but for the moment remains in the dark until a new delivery schedule gets worked out in Seattle.
According to Spirit chief executive Jeffrey Turner, negotiations cover the changed schedule and “settlement of contractual matters.” For the airlines, resolution might not come in the form of cash payment, but rather through introduction of various aircraft-price discounts.