Norwegian Air cancels orders for nearly 100 Boeing aircraft

Only the 737 MAX model had 92 units canceled. Airline alleged financial losses from aircraft grounding and also unreliability of the 787 jets

Cornered by the commercial aviation crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Norwegian Air confirmed in a filling to the stock exchange that it canceled the remaining orders for 92 737 MAX and five 787 Dreamliner aircraft with Boeing.

The company claims that it is requesting for financial compensation and also the refund of amounts paid. However, it recognizes that it has not yet reached a favorable agreement with the US airframer. Norwegian Air claims that the lack of reliability and availability of the two aircraft caused significant losses for it, with unplanned maintenance periods and interruptions in its operation.

In fact, the two jets are in serious trouble, the most serious of which is the 737 MAX, which has been grounded since March 2019 by deficiencies in its design. Norwegian has 18 units out of a total order for 110 aircraft, but several of them are already completed in Boeing’s yards and airports pending clearance for return to service.

The 787 situation is less complicated, on the other hand. Only five 787-9 models remain to be delivered from a total order of 13 aircraft. The Dreamliner, however, has had problems with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 turbofan engine for a long time.

Resumption of flights in Europe

Norwegian Air is one of the largest and most aggressive low cost airlines in Europe, with a fleet of 172 Boeing aircraft. The base of its flight network is operated with the model 737-800, with 118 units.

Boeing still has five 787-9 Dreamliner to be delivered to Norwegian Air (Eric Salard)

The company, however, relied on the 737 MAX to make its operation more economical and versatile and even put these aircraft on transatlantic routes before the suspension of flights.

With the 787, Norwegian expanded a very large long-haul network, especially with flights to America.To meet demand, the company leased several aircraft on the market and currently has 36 Dreamliner jets.

The company’s situation, which was already complicated before the pandemic, worsened to the point of suspending almost all of its flights in April. Only a few connections within Norway were maintained, but in July Norwegian confirmed that it will fly back to several cities in Europe.

Long-distance routes, on the other hand, remain suspended until 2021. It is expected that the company will also announce the reduction of its fleet to adapt to the new reality of air passenger transport. In this scenario, it is not yet known what will be the destination of the 18 737 MAX already received.


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