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Poland's LOT agrees compensation with Boeing over Dreamliners

A worker prepares the Boeing chalet ahead of the Farnborough Airshow 2012 in southern England July 8, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor
A worker prepares the Boeing chalet ahead of the Farnborough Airshow 2012 in southern England July 8, 2012. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish flagship carrier LOT said it had agreed with U.S. plane maker Boeing on compensation for the faults that grounded its 787 Dreamliner jets.

"I can confirm that the agreement was signed yesterday, but we cannot reveal the details," LOT spokeswoman Barbara Pijanowska-Kuras said.

There was no information on whether Boeing agreed to pay the compensation in cash or by lowering lease rates for the Dreamliners that LOT operates.

The state-owned airline, which has struggled for years with huge operating losses, has previously estimated the cost of the Dreamliner problems at 100 million zlotys ($32.1 million). LOT has five Dreamliners, according to its website.

Treasury Minister Wlodzimierz Karpinski, whose ministry oversees the government's stake in LOT, was quoted in the Rzeczpospolita newspaper as saying they were satisfied with the compensation deal.

LOT received about 400 million zlotys in state-aid last year.

The European Commission in November launched an investigation into whether Poland broke competition rules when it injected the money into the airline.

LOT did not comment on Tuesday on how the compensation deal would impact the airline's financial difficulties, or whether it would reduce its need for further state help.

The Polish airline is one of 13 carriers that fly the 787 Dreamliner.

The aircraft was to be a game-changer for the aviation industry because its use of lighter materials promises 20 percent savings in fuel consumption. But some of the aircraft have been repeatedly grounded due to technical problems.

(Reporting by Karolina Slowikowska and Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Christian Lowe and Jane Merriman)

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