Undoubtedly, Norwegian Air suffered a blow last year, when times were good and Rolls-Royce and Boeing spoiled quality control. But with Covid-19, conditions in 2020 would be bad, no matter what. The Norwegian cannot blame Boeing or Rolls-Royce for what is happening now.
Norwegian Air has canceled orders for 97 Boeing aircraft and will demand compensation from the U.S. aircraft maker for the grounding of the 737 MAX and for 787 engine problems that hit its results, the Oslo-based carrier said on Monday.
The airline canceled 92 of the 737 MAX jets, five 787 Dreamliners and so-called GoldCare service contracts related to the two aircraft.
“Norwegian has also filed a lawsuit seeking the return of pre-delivery payments related to the aircraft and compensation for the company’s losses related to the grounding of the 737 MAX and engine problems in the 787,” the statement said.
Norwegian did not specify the amount it would seek to claim from Boeing, with which it talked about compensation. No company was immediately available for comment.
The problematic Trent 1000 engines, used in Dreamliners, were manufactured by Rolls-Royce, with which Norwegian is in a dialogue about compensation. Monday’s statement did not say whether Norwegian would take legal action against Rolls-Royce.
The European budget company, which revolutionized transatlantic travel by offering cheap fares, was struggling before the COVID-19 pandemic brought the aviation industry to its knees. One reason was the grounding of the 737 MAX plane 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 aircraft at the time.
Originally a small regional airline in Scandinavia, Norwegian made its discovery on the global stage with a multi-year order in 2012 for up to 372 aircraft, of which 222 were from Boeing and 150 from Airbus.
News of the cancellation comes when Boeing started a crucial set of MAX certification flight tests on Monday as the aircraft manufacturer hopes to overcome its biggest crisis.