Boeing has received an additional confidence boost after Norwegian Air announced it has placed an order for 50 737 MAX and secured options for a further 30 planes at an undisclosed price.
Norwegian called today’s order a “landmark deal” as the carrier will go back to owning a significant chunk of its fleet, which is set to be delivered between 2025 and 2028.
The carrier forced to lease its fleet last year during bankruptcy proceedings, which eventually saved it from collapsing.
“This is a landmark deal that sets out a path whereby Norwegian will own a large share of its fleet,” commented Norwegian’s chair Svein Harald Oygard.
“This will result in lower all-in costs and increased financial robustness, enabling us to further solidify our Nordic stronghold.”
The deal is seen as a the latest vote of confidence for Boeing as the manufacturer recovers from a troubled few months.
Plagued by disappointing results, production delays and certification issues, Boeing’s relations with some of its airline customers – including Norwegian – deteriorated early this year.
Norwegian said in February it was considering snubbing the US manufacturer for EU rival Airbus, while long-term customers Ryanair said it would revert to the second-hand market if Boeing’s management didn’t step up.
“This is another vote of confidence in the recertified and revitalised Boeing 737MAX,” aviation analyst Sally Gethin told City A.M.
“Norwegian has always been a big fan of the MAX operating it even before the fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019 so this new order marks a renewed confidence in the aircraft that once struggled to return to the skies.”
Under today’s agreement, the airline will receive compensation for previous disputes over MAX and Dreamliner orders for a total of 2bn Norwegian crowns (£167.6m).
The airline is the second major deal Boeing has recently concluded, as earlier this month British Airways’ owner IAG bought 50 737 aircraft – 25 MAX 10 and 25 737 MAX 8200, City A.M. reported.