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Virgin taps Boeing for 787 compensation

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Virgin Atlantic is in talks with Boeing over compensation for the late delivery of the 787 Dreamliners it ordered in April last year, the Telegraph reports.

The airline was expecting delivery of its first 787-9, one of 15 it requested at a cost of about $2.8bn, in early 2011, but the manufacturer last week admitted to further design issues which Virgin fears may prevent it getting behind the controls for a further year.

Boeing said back in January that the first 787 would be in All-Nippon Airways' hands by early 2009 - a commercial roll-out originally scheduled for May 2008. However, industry sources suggest this might not happen until Q3 of that year, meaning further frustration for eager customers.

Virgin spokesman Paul Charles said: "We have begun talks with Boeing over the levels of compensation due and the possible need for replacement aircraft after 2011, when our 787s were scheduled to be delivered."

Airbus's A380 superjumbo, meanwhile, is suffering a few operational gremlins, and Singapore Airlines on Monday grounded one of three it operates due to a fuel pump problem, transferring passengers on its Singapore-Sydney route to smaller aircraft.

According to the BBC, a "similar fuel pump problem" affected a second aircraft back in February, but the airline stressed the two incidents were unrelated. Spokesman Stephen Forshaw expained: "The problem is similar to the problem which affected another aircraft a month or so back, but it is important to mention it is not the same problem and not the same aircraft.

He concluded: "The problem last time was identified to be with the electrical relay powering the pump, rather than the pump itself." ®

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