Norwegian Air cancels 97 Boeing MAX and Dreamliners, claims compensation

FILE PHOTO: Norwegian Air Sweden Boeing 737-800 SE-RRY plane lands at Riga International Airport in Riga, Latvia, January 17, 2020. REUTERS / Ints Kalnins

OSLO (Reuters) – Norwegian Air (NWC.OL) has canceled orders for 97 Boeing (PROHIBITION) and will seek compensation from the US aircraft manufacturer for the grounding of the 737 MAX and for the problems with the 787 engine that affected its results, the Oslo-based airline said Monday.

The airline canceled 92 of the 737 MAX aircraft, five 787 Dreamliners and so-called GoldCare service agreements related to both aircraft.

“Norwegian has also filed a legal claim seeking the return of the aircraft-related pre-delivery payments and compensation for the company’s losses related to the grounding of the 737 MAX and engine problems on the 787.” , said.

Norwegian did not specify the amount it would seek to claim from Boeing, with which it had been in talks regarding compensation. Neither company was immediately available for comment.

Rolls-Royce made the troublesome Trent 1000 engines used in Dreamliners.RR.L), with which Norwegian has been in dialogue regarding compensation. Monday’s statement did not say whether Norwegian would file a legal claim against Rolls-Royce.

The European budget carrier, which revolutionized transatlantic travel by offering cheap fares, was struggling before the COVID-19 pandemic brought the airline industry to its knees. One reason was the grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft in March 2019 after the second of two fatal accidents that together killed 346 people. Norwegian had 18 MAX passenger jets in its fleet of 163 jets at the time.

Originally a small regional airline in Scandinavia, Norwegian made its breakthrough on the world stage with a multi-year order in 2012 for up to 372 aircraft, of which 222 were from Boeing and 150 from Airbus (AIR.PA)

The news of the cancellation comes as Boeing began a crucial series of MAX certification flight tests on Monday as the aircraft maker hopes to overcome its biggest crisis.

Reports of Gwladys Fouche and Terje Solsvik; Additional reports from Eric. M Johnson; Editing by Leslie Adler

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