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Friday, February 8, 2013

Norwegian Air Prepares for Delayed Boeing 787 Delivery

Norwegian Air is preparing for a possible delay to the scheduled April delivery of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner due to the ongoing investigation by U.S. and Japanese safety officials of the aircraft's lithium ion battery, the carrier said Friday.

The airline said if the 787 is not operational in time for its planned routes to New York and Bangkok in May, Norwegian will sign a leasing agreement to replace the 787 on long-haul routes. Norwegian has a total of eight Dreamliners on order.

“As one of Boeing's biggest customers in Europe, we expect that the aircraft manufacturer does everything in its power to get the aircraft ready for delivery as soon as possible,” said Norwegian Air CEO Bjorn Kjos.

All 50 in-service Dreamliners worldwide have remained grounded since Jan. 16 after a series of battery incidents and in-flight problems lead to FAA issuing an airworthiness directive for carriers to stop operating the planes.

The Norwegian announcement comes a day after the National Transportation Safety Board’s (NTSB) media briefing about the ongoing investigation into recent issues with the 787. NTSB identified the origin of the Japanese Airlines (JAL) 787 battery fire as a short circuit from one of the eight cells in the battery that lead to a thermal runway that cascaded to the other cells.

“We deeply regret the impact the recent events have had on the schedule of Norwegian and their customers. We are staying in close communication with the airline as we work towards an approved means of compliance with the FAA Airworthiness Directive and develop a plan for resumption of 787 deliveries,” Boeing said in a statement. More

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