Norwegian has reached an agreement in principle with Boeing to order 50 B737 Max 8 aircraft.

The carrier has previously operated the B737 Max 8 – indeed it was the first European carrier to do so back in 2017 – but these were grounded in March 2019 along with all B737 Max aircraft globally following two fatal crashes.

By the time the planes had returned to European skies Norwegian had abandoned its long-haul network and removed 50 narrowbody aircraft from its fleet.

CNN reports that the deal “includes compensation to Norwegian as settlement for previous disputes over Max and Dreamliner aircraft deliveries and technical issues”.

Subject to “various closing conditions” Norwegian will purchase 50 B737 Max 8s, with options for an additional 30 aircraft. The planes are set to be delivered between 2025 and 2028, “at a schedule closely corresponding to current aircraft lease expirations”.

Svein Harald Oygard, chair of the board of Norwegian said that the “landmark deal”… “sets out a path whereby Norwegian will own a large share of its fleet”, while CEO Geir Karlsen commented:

“The overall terms achieved are attractive for Norwegian, and the deal fits well with our long-term fleet strategy and route programme. It will enable us to serve our customers with modern fuel-efficient aircraft with the latest technology, significantly reducing our carbon footprint.

“The deal will also strengthen the company’s equity considerably, further solidifying Norwegian’s financial position.”