Norwegian's Stranded Boeing 737 Finally Leaves Iran
On Dec. 14 a brand new Norwegian Air Boeing 737 Max made an emergency landing in Iran due to engine issues while en route from Dubai to Oslo. While the plane landed safely and passengers were able to fly out the very next day, the airline couldn't have imagined what getting the aircraft home was going to involve.
Due to the recently reinstated sanctions against Iran by the US, which ban the sale of products that contain at least 10 percent US content, the airline was unable to send new gear to Iran to fix the stricken plane. This caused major headaches for the airline in obtaining the parts needed to get its newest plane airborne, out of the country and back in service.
The aircraft remained stranded in Iran for more than two months while the airline worked on finding a solution — all of this at a time when the airline was struggling. Having a brand new plane stuck in Iran certainly didn't help its situation.
In the end, Norwegian had to obtain special permission from the US government through the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC). The process might have been a bit more straightforward, but the timeframe overlapped with much of the recent US government shutdown, making the process even more difficult. Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for Boeing, confirmed to the Chicago Tribune that Boeing was able to finally obtain a license from the OFAC to get the much needed parts to the stranded plane.
Now, after more than two months of being stranded, the 737 has finally returned to Stockholm. The plane landed early Saturday morning. The touchdown marks the end of the ordeal for the airline after months of dealing with red tape to get the aircraft home again.
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