Another black eye for Norwegian and 787

Another 787 Dreamliner grounded over weekend

Boeing is being put to the test again as Norwegian grounded a 787 Dreamliner over the weekend. The airline is demanding answers, complaining that the plane needs repairs after less than 30 days in service.

The problem this time, with a hydraulic pump, is minor and Boeing says repairs will take “a matter of days”. But Norwegian is being particularly vocal with its complaints making this another black eye for the troubled 787.

Like other airlines with small long-haul fleets, Norwegian lacks a spare plane it can resort to if one of them breaks down. Instead it has to lease planes at short notice or cancel flights.

Norwegian was the first airline to sign up for Boeing’s GoldCare maintenance contract for 787s and is still the only 787 customer for the plan. GoldCare “significantly reduces the risk of new airplane introduction surprises” and helps carriers keep the planes in the air. But, as Norwegian spokesman Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen put it on Saturday, “The aircraft’s reliability is simply not acceptable. Our passengers cannot live with this kind of performance.”


[photo courtesy Norwegian]