Boeing offers Air India $24 mn compensation as Dreamliner woes continue

US aircraft maker Boeing is reported to have offered $24 million to Air India for losses suffered due to repeated grounding of the B787 aircraft, even as the Indian flag carrier's Dreamliner woes continued.

The Boeing 787 has been a source of constant trouble for Air India and the amount that Boeing offered is just half of the $48 million the airline has asked for.

The aircraft that caused 318 cases of technical snags so far, also, on Saturday, forced Air India to cancel its Melbourne-Delhi flight and delay the departure of its Singapore-Chennai service by over six hours.

While the Melbourne-Delhi flight AI-301 had clogged toilets in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and had to be grounded at the Australian city, the other Dreamliner aircraft, operating flight AI-347 developed technical trouble at Singapore and reached Chennai on Saturday evening, instead of its scheduled arrival time of 10.50 am, airline sources said.

Several passengers of the Melbourne flight were given hotel accommodation, while some were put on alternate flights after the cancellation, airline sources said.

''Boeing has agreed to a compensation of $24 million, which is approximately half of the compensation asked by Air India,'' a Hindustan Times report quoted from the minutes of the meeting of the oversight committee that is overseeing the implementation of AI's 'turnaround plan'.

The problems with Dreamliners is understood to have figured in the one-on-on meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi had with Boeing CEO W James McNerney on 29 September in Washington.

Air India chairman Rohit Nandan was also in Washington during PM Modi's meeting, after which McNerney told reporters that Boeing wanted to "accelerate engagement with India".

The national carrier and the plane maker are reportedly negotiating a formula for compensation for grounding of the Dreamliners for almost four months last year over battery fires, loss of revenue due to recurrent technical problems and resultant adverse publicity to the airline, apart from the demand for initial deliveries not being as fuel-efficient as promised.