Dreamliner Cancellations in January Cause $15 Million Loss for All Nippon Airways

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By Jerin Mathew | January 31, 2013 7:42 PM EST

ANA mechanics work beside the company's Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner plane at Haneda airport in Tokyo

Japan's All Nippon Airways has cancelled 459 flights in January despite its efforts to minimise the service disruption caused by Boeing 787 Dreamliner aeroplanes, which were grounded across the globe due to apparent battery malfunction.

Due to the cancellations, the company expects a 1.4bn yen ($15m, £9m) decline in revenue.

"We are doing our best to minimize disruption to customers and continue operations by changing the aircraft used on routes served by the 787. But we still expect 459 flights to be cancelled by the end of January, affecting 58,320 passengers," Jean Saito, Manager of Online/Marketing Communications at ANA, told IBTimes UK.

The company confirmed that it had 10 cases of battery replacement due to technical issues. The replacement includes not only battery malfunction cases but also that of charging system, according to ANA.

However, no flights were cancelled or delayed due to the battery replacement, Saito said.

The airline added that it is still investigating the battery problems in close co-operation with all the relevant air safety. It looks forward to bringing the 787 back into service after the completion of all investigations and any necessary remedial action.

There were reports that ANA and rival airline Japan Airlines (JAL) had changed below-par lithium-ion batteries used in their 787 Dreamliners before the jets were grounded due to the battery issue. The two airlines operate 24 of the 50 Dreamliners in service.

Nevertheless, Boeing has played down the issue, saying the battery change was "a matter of routine maintenance rather than any safety concerns". The aircraft maker added that it expects no significant impact on its 2013 financial forecast due to the grounding of the Dreamliner.

The company intends to speed up production of the jet as planned and will not slow down the shipments supplying parts for the widely outsourced 787.

"Nothing that we have learned has told us that we have made the wrong choice on the battery technology," CEO Jim McNerney said during a conference call, following release of fourth quarter results.

"We feel good about the battery technology and its fit for the airplane. We have just got to get to the root cause of these incidents and we will take a look at the data as it evolves, but there is nothing that we have learned that causes us to question it at this stage."

For its fourth quarter, Boeing reported a decline in net income to $978m, or $1.28 per share, from $1.39bn, or $1.84 per share, in the year-ago period. Quarterly profit, however, beat analyst expectations of $1.19 a share.

Revenues increased 14 percent year-on-year to $22.30bn.

Boeing expects to record profit in the rage of $5.00 to $5.20 per share, on revenues in the range of $82 to $85bn in 2013. Analysts expect a yearly profit of $5.13 per share.

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