MIAMI — Norwegian Air Shuttle is set to take delivery of its first Boeing 737 MAX on June 13. Originally scheduled for late May, the delivery was held up by the CFM International LEAP-1B engine quality control issues earlier this month. The ribbon cutting ceremony at Boeing’s Delivery Center will take place at 10:00 local time.
After the ceremony, Norwegian will fly the aircraft from Boeing Field to its base at Oslo Gardermoen. The delivery flight will depart at 13:00, and will arrive to Oslo on June 14 at 07:00, all in local times. There will be a welcome ceremony upon arrival into Oslo. Airways will be onboard the delivery flight.
Last March, Norwegian confirmed that British aviation pioneer Sir Freddie Laker will be the figure to appear on the tail of its first 737 MAX. Laker is often considered to be one of the pioneers of the long-haul low-cost model with its laker Airways’ ‘Skytrain’ service which first took to the air in September 1977.
While the inaugural 737 MAX flight was supposed to take place on the 15th from Edinburgh to Stewart International Airport in New York, Norwegian has decided instead to open a bid for 12 seats in association with MegaDo and the Frequent Traveler Education Foundation.
Winning passengers will join Norwegian’s CEO Bjørn Kjos onboard the special flight, and the proceedings from such bid will be donated to UNICEF. The inaugural flight and initial flights between Edinburgh – Stewart, first due to be operated by the MAX, will be now be served with a Boeing 737-800.
First in Europe to operate the MAX
Southwest Airlines was originally planned to be the launch customer of the 737 MAX. However, the Dallas-based carrier, will now be the third carrier to take delivery of it, and it will not debut the type until October 1.
The arrival of the 737 MAX will enable Norwegian to explore long-haul routes which are too small for its 787 fleet, further expanding its presence in the United States.
To date, Norwegian has 48 transatlantic flights from 13 US cities, to Europe and seven routes from the US to the French Caribbean.
The airline is also readying the launch of new flights from Denver and Seattle to London, which will begin in September.