Norwegian Air CEO Bjoern Kjos said he’s looking to buy more Boeing 787s to add long-haul routes even as the company’s first Dreamliners remain on hold after the model was grounded.
Europe’s fourth-biggest discount carrier is starting to map out its needs beyond the eight 787-8s due by 2015, and may order the larger 787-9 as early as this year because the plane’s per- seat costs make it attractive, Kjos said.
Norwegian Air is among airlines affected by the idling of the global Dreamliner fleet on 16/Jan in the wake of incidents with lithium-ion batteries.
“There’ll be a delay that hits us on the first two aircraft,” Kjos said. Norwegian Air has leased two Airbus A340s to provide cover, one for 2 months, the other for 3, during which time the 787s should arrive, he said.
Norwegian Air is scheduled to introduce 3 787s this year, 4 next and the 8th in 2015, with 5 leased and 3 bought outright. The size of a follow-on order has yet to be determined, though the planes will be purchased directly and the company may seek discounts as part of delay compensation.
Kjos, who spoke in London, said the largest Dreamliner, the 787-10, is economically attractive but doesn’t offer sufficient range. Airbus’ competing A350 has been ruled out because of the commitment to the Boeing jet, which was available first, he said.
Based on the article “Norwegian Air stays loyal to Boeing 787 for long-term growth” published in Bloomberg