Norwegian delivers blow to SAS, orders 222 planes

Carrier aims to replace entire fleet, with deliveries starting 2016

In an unprecedented move to enlarge its fleet, the Nordic budget airline Norwegian Air Shuttle has ordered 222 narrow-body planes worth USD$21.5 billion at list prices. Specifically, the split order includes 100 of Boeing’s new 737 MAX8 aircraft, 100 Airbus A320neos and 22 Boeing 787-800s. Norwegian has also secured options for another 100 MAX8s and 50 A320neos. With deliveries starting in 2016, the carrier aims to replace its entire fleet of 62 planes.
Reuters reports that the order is “a big bet on Europe’s recovery” – a move that may “further weaken struggling rival SAS”. The news intensifies speculation that SAS may not be able to survive alone. A Handelsbanken analyst commented: “This will be a huge growth story for the future, and as we see it, SAS is not even close to being able to match anything like this considering their debt situation.”
[pictured: Norwegian Boeing 737-800; courtesy Norwegian]


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