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A Norwegian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX flying a repositioning flight was forced to divert after it was denied entry into German airspace this week.
Norwegian was attempting to relocate the plane from Spain, where it had been since the global grounding of the 737 MAX, to one of its bases of operation in Sweden.
“Norwegian received all necessary approvals for the flight from the European Aviation Authorities (EASA), the flight plan was approved by Eurocontrol and Swedish Aviation Authorities granted permission to land at Stockholm Arlanda Airport,” Anders Lindström said in a statement to TPG.
“Just before entering German airspace both the German and French authorities sent a notice that prohibited repositioning flights of the Boeing 737 MAX in their airspace. Our pilots were instructed to land south of Paris,” he added.
No passengers were on board the Tuesday flight.
Lindström said that Norwegian was relocating the plane so it could have as many of its MAXes as possible stationed at the same location, which he said would allow for a smoother return to service once the grounding of Boeing’s aircraft is lifted.
Norwegian and other airlines that have MAXes in their fleets have faced a challenge in relocating out-of-position MAXes since they were grounded in March.
For now, Norwegian’s MAX remains in France but Norwegian hopes to fly it to Sweden soon.
“French authorities have given us permission to fly and we will send pilots to France early next week to fly the aircraft to Stockholm,” Lindström told TPG in a Friday update.
Featured image from Peter Rothbart for TPG.
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