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Photo: Norwegian

“We expect Boeing to take this bill”: Norwegian

Norwegian says it will demand compensation from Boeing over having to ground its 737 MAX 8 fleet.

Norwegian says it will seek compensation from the aircraft manufacturer Boeing due to the mounting lost revenues and extra costs from having to ground its 737 MAX 8 fleet, the news agency Reuters reports this morning.

“We expect Boeing to take this bill,” the Oslo-based carrier said in a statement to Reuters.

The airline has 18 of the aircraft type, and 92 more on order, in a fleet that currently numbers around 160 planes.

It is the latest episode in a fast-developing story following Sunday’s air disaster in Ethiopia. That tragedy involved the MAX 8, and although no specific cause of the crash has yet been determined there are similarities to a Lion Air accident less than five months earlier.

European regulators grounded the aircraft on Tuesday following the lead of an increasing number of individual countries.

Reuters reports that Norwegian has cancelled almost 40 departures scheduled for Wednesday, many of which were due to fly from Nordic cities. It is working to deploy other planes to fill the gaps.

“We are able to accommodate most intra-European passengers by these efforts but are still working on other options for our passengers travelling between Ireland and the US,” the carrier said.

Low-cost model
When the first MAX planes were delivered to Norwegian in June 2017, the airline was jubilant it would help transform transatlantic travel.

The narrow-body jets offered 189 seats, 14% lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions, 40% less noise, an 8% reduction in operating costs and were less expensive to operate. This has made the model a popular choice among low-cost carriers.

“When we get the MAX, when we can fly it full […] it’s going to be very interesting because you can fly it on very low fares. The MAX is a very cost-effective airplane,” CEO Bjorn Kjos said at the time.

It is not clear whether Boeing will pay compensation, or how much, or to how many airlines besides Norwegian. There have been 350 deliveries of variants of the Boeing 737 MAX since the first delivery in 2017, with more than 5,000 on order.

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