PARIS – Norwegian Air Shuttle announced Monday at the Paris Air Show that it has ordered two additional 737 MAX 8 aircraft from Boeing. The order is valued at $225 million and brings Norwegian’s total 737 MAX backlog to 110 aircraft. Norwegian also has 97 of rival Airbus’ A320neos on order.
“By ordering two additional 737 MAX aircraft, we are taking another step towards replacing our current fleet with even more fuel efficient and more environmentally friendly aircraft. This allows us to enhance our operation and reap financial benefits,” said CEO of Norwegian, Bjørn Kjos. “Norwegian’s strategy is to operate and own the newest state-of-the-art fleet of aircraft, giving passengers high-quality comfort and the shareholders as high a return as possible.”
Norwegian’s 737 MAX 8 aircraft will be used along with the 97 A320neos to replace and grow a current generation narrowbody fleet of 117 737-800s (with 6 more on order) and 14 Boeing 787 Dreamliners (8 787-8s and 6 787-9s) with 18 more 787-9s on order.
Norwegian will be the European launch customer for the 737 MAX, which it will fly on both short and medium haul routes. Just this week, Norwegian officials confirmed to Airways that they will take delivery of their first MAX on June 29th after a series of delays. However, the delays do not appear to have dampened Norwegian’s enthusiasm for Boeing’s re-engined jet, and with 98 outstanding purchase options for the 737 MAX, it would not be a surprise to see the carrier grow its fleet further. We are hearing market intelligence that suggests that Norwegian may take a hard look at Boeing’s newest 737 MAX variant, the 230-seat 737 MAX 10.
Along with the order, Norwegian announced that it has chosen Boeing to provide all of its flight training needs through Boeing Global Services. The flight training announcement between Norwegian and Boeing comes in succession after Norwegian’s announcement at the 2016 Farnborough Airshow of a commitment to Boeing Global Fleet Care of their 737 MAX and 787 Dreamliner fleet.
— Boeing Airplanes (@BoeingAirplanes) June 19, 2017
“We are very pleased to provide pilot training to Norwegian with the industry’s best flight training as they take a very exciting step in expanding their Boeing fleet,” said Stan Deal, president, and CEO of Boeing Global Services. “Boeing is committed to giving our customers a competitive edge through services such as Global Fleet Care and our tailored training solutions so that they can focus on keeping their pilots and airplanes in the air.”
The 737 MAX order serves as a (tiny) redemption for Boeing after Norwegian ordered 30 A321LRs from competitor Airbus last July. Norwegian plans to use the 737 MAX 8 for European flights and for its growing transatlantic network.
Just last week, Norwegian launched service to Newburgh, New York from Edinburgh with the Boeing 737-800. Norwegian plans to add additional service to Newburgh from Belfast, Bergen, Dublin, and Shannon and will use the 737 MAX on those routes. New routes for the A321neo across the Atlantic have not yet been earmarked but are certain to develop. While Norwegian’s first transatlantic flights are being operated by the 737-800, Norwegian plans to use the 737 MAX 8 once it enters service next month.