Norwegian has signed an agreement to lease four more Boeing 787-9, despite recent issues with its Dreamliner fleet.
The new wide-bodied aircraft are expected to enter service in 2017 and 2018.
Norwegian currently has three 787-8s, with an additional five on order, and two 787-9s on order for delivery in the first quarter of 2016.
In total, Norwegian has ordered a fleet of 14 long-haul aircraft, where of four will enter service in 2014; one in 2015; two in 2016; two in 2017 and two in 2018.
Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said: “In order to run a competitive long-haul operation, we are dependent on brand new, cost-efficient aircraft. I’m very satisfied to have secured an additional four 787-9 Dreamliners. This is a great airplane with high passenger comfort, long range and low fuel burn.”
The news comes several weeks after it was reported that Kjos was seeking an urgent meeting with Boeing executives about why Norwegian’s Dreamliner fleet continues to be plagued by technical problems (see news, January 6).
In September, Norwegian demanded Boeing sort out the two B787s it then had in its fleet (see news, September 2013). One aircraft was left stranded in Bangkok with hydraulic pump failure.
Boeing was supposed to have ironed out the teething problems. But faults still cropped up.
Just before Christmas, two Dreamliners out of Norwegian’s three-strong fleet broke down in the US, including its third and newest B787.
Yet again, more issues emerged over the New Year period — on January 1, two Dreamliners were again grounded, one in New York (delayed 60 hours) and another in Bangkok (delayed 24 hours).