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Airline, citing loss after grounding of 787s, will ask Boeing to compensate

Japan Airlines operates seven Boeing 787s and has placed orders for 38 more of the planes, known as Dreamliners.

Koji Sasahara/Associated Press

Japan Airlines operates seven Boeing 787s and has placed orders for 38 more of the planes, known as Dreamliners.

TOKYO — Japan Airlines said Monday that the grounding of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet would cost it $7.5 million in earnings through March and that it would seek compensation from Boeing Co.

In making the announcement, Japan Airlines joined other Dreamliner operators, like All Nippon Airways and United Airlines, in raising the possibility of demanding compensation. That adds to Boeing’s woes as it struggles to determine why a battery aboard a parked 787 burst into flames and another emitted smoke while a plane was in the air last month.

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After those mishaps, regulators around the world grounded all 50 Dreamliners in service. US and Japanese officials investigating the two cases have not determined what caused the lithium-ion batteries, made by GS Yuasa of Japan, to overheat.

Japan Airlines, which operates seven 787s and has placed orders for 38 more, is trying to get back on track after its emergence from bankruptcy last year and the relisting of its shares.

In earnings announced Monday, the airline said net profit fell 3.7 percent, to $1.52 billion in the first three quarters, through December, of its fiscal year. Sales rose 3.6 percent but were offset by a nearly 5 percent increase in operating costs as fuel prices climbed.

Japan Airlines also said it would postpone the introduction of service between Helsinki and Narita International Airport near Tokyo, originally scheduled for Feb. 25. Still, it raised its full-year profit forecast by 16 percent, to $1.76 billion, citing strong demand in Europe, the United States, and Southeast Asia.

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