Airline Group SAS Asks for $77 million in Damages From Bombardier After Turboprop Accidents

STOCKHOLM, Sweden --

Airline group SAS AB said Wednesday it would request about $77 million in compensation from Bombardier for costs and lost income due to accidents involving turboprops made by the Canadian aircraft maker.

SAS grounded its entire fleet of Q-400 turboprops last month after two separate accidents in Denmark and Lithuania in which planes of that type crash-landed with landing gear malfunctions. No one was seriously injured in those accidents.

"The incidents were caused by flaws in components not included in the maintenance manual. This is why we feel the responsibility lies with Bombardier," SAS spokesman Hans Ollongren said.

Bombardier did not immediately return phone calls made by The Associated Press.

The company will start its compensation talks with the Canadian plane maker shortly, he said, without giving a more specific timeframe.

Ollongren said SAS has lost around 400 million kronor ($62 million) since the grounding of its turboprop fleet. "But there are other costs involved, too, related to credibility and other things."

He declined to comment on whether SAS plans to sue Bombardier, saying only that "we'll start with discussions. We won't go into methods yet."

SAS will start flying its turboprops again on Thursday after a three-week stoppage for maintenance and inspections of the planes.

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