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The rapidly growing low-cost carrier Norwegian Air announced on Tuesday that it’s being forced to delay the launch of its operations between Canada and Europe because of delivery delays with Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
Norwegian had originally planned to launch service between the two regions from July 23, 2018, after getting the authorization to begin ticket sales last month. However, given the delays in 737 MAX aircraft, services are now not set to begin until spring 2019. Specifically, the delays of two of its 737 MAX aircraft by about four weeks affected the carrier.
“We got a slight delay, not much, but it gave us a month shorter pre-sale period,” Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said. He added that the delivery delays come from issues with the aircraft’s GE engines, which have caused deliveries for both MAX and A320neos to be delayed by about a month.
MAX delays for Norwegian are nothing new. Last summer, the carrier hit delays in deliveries of its new 737 MAX, which affected some of its routes. Currently, it has six MAX aircraft in its fleet and is due to get another 12 this year — not one of which has yet been delivered.
The 737 MAX is at the core of Norwegian’s expansion plans, including in the Canadian market. While it operates a Dreamliner on some of its longer-haul, higher-density transatlantic routes, it relies on the 737 MAX to operate out of smaller markets on some transatlantic routes.
The carrier is also set to take delivery of 30 A321neos beginning in 2019, which will help to supplement its growth.
This delay in deliveries for Norwegian comes on the same day that Boeing reported its deliveries are up 9% year-over-year in the first quarter of 2018, thanks in large part to the high 737 demand.
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