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ANA seeks ¥20b in damages from seat maker Koito

Japan's All Nippon Airways is seeking ¥20 billion ($243.5 million) in damages from troubled seat manufacturer Koito for failing to deliver new seats on time.

The Star Alliance carrier filed a lawsuit against the seat maker in end-January, says an ANA spokeswoman.

Koito was supposed to supply new premium economy seats for the airline's new Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, which were initially scheduled to be rolled out in February 2010 with a new product offering on board.

However, Koito failed to deliver the seats on time, resulting in ANA launching the new aircraft two months later in April 2010 without premium economy class seats as promised. The airline replaced the class with more economy class seats, says ANA's spokeswoman.

Koito was also failed to provide premium and economy class seats for the airline's Boeing 737-800s, which will be operated on domestic routes. "It has been 15 months, and the four aircraft still have no seats," says ANA's spokeswoman.

Koito was found last year to have falsified safety test results on seats, and was subsequently ordered by the Japanese government to review its business operations. Besides ANA, it had also failed to deliver seats to Thai Airways International and Singapore Airlines.

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