Boeing Delays Norwegian's 737 MAX Delivery
Earlier this year, Norwegian Air announced that it was set to begin transatlantic flights from three new US cities (Newburgh [SWF], Providence [PVD] and Hatford [BDL]) to various destinations in Europe on its new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. While the inaugural flight on the 737 MAX was scheduled for June 15 to depart from SWF to Edinburgh (EDI), that has since been postponed due to Boeing delaying the delivery of its third MAX aircraft, which was set to occur next week to Norwegian.
The delay in delivering the Boeing 737 MAX to Norwegian is the result of a technical issue. This announcement comes just a few weeks after we learned that Boeing halted 737 MAX flights in order to inspect engine cracks, but flights have since resumed. However, there's no indication that the engine cracks have anything to do with the delayed delivery of Norwegian's first 737 MAX.
"We fully expect to deliver later this month and look forward to the MAX entering revenue service with Norwegian," Boeing said in a statement. Despite the delay, Norwegian said that there won't be an impact to passenger flights. So, while the first flight between SWF and EDI was originally scheduled to be operated by the 737 MAX, it will now be operated by another (TBD) aircraft type.
As a result of the delay in delivery, Norwegian is extending its auction to bid on a seat for the delivery flight. The new end date for the auction is June 12, and although the exact delivery date hasn't yet been confirmed, it will be at some point at the end of the month.
Surely, this is disappointing news for Norwegian, which was expecting to operate its new transatlantic routes from PVD, SWF and BDL with the 737 MAX. While it's saying those flights won't be affected by the delay, it's not yet clear which aircraft the airline plans to use on those routes while it waits for the delivery of its first MAX.