LOW-COST airline Norwegian Air shuttle has finalised an order with American aircraft manufacturer Boeing for the purchase of 19 787-9 Dreamliners valued at more than US$5 billion at current list prices, making it the largest single order for that type of aircraft from a European airline.
The order also includes options for 10 more 787-9s, as the carrier looks to significantly grow its existing long-haul fleet into the next decade, according to a company statement.
Norwegian currently operates eight 787-8s and has previously ordered 11 787-9s through lease agreements. With the latest order, the carrier, headquartered in Oslo, will expand its total 787 fleet to nearly 40 airplanes in the coming years.
"This order of 19 new Dreamliners is a major milestone and enables Norwegian to offer a wide range of new routes to consumers worldwide. The order is also essential to further strengthening the company in the global competition," Norwegian's CEO, Bjorn Kjos said.
"After two years of operating low-cost long-haul flights, our load factors have averaged in the nineties, which proves the demand for affordable flights between Europe and the US and Europe and Asia. Future growth and competitiveness in the long-haul market depends on the fuel-efficient, state-of-the art 787 Dreamliner. Not least, the Dreamliner offers the best passenger experience."
The 787-9 complements and extends the 787 family with the fuselage stretched by 6 metres over the 787-8. It can fly up to 20 per cent more passengers and 23 per cent more cargo farther yet with the same exceptional environmental performance - 20 per cent less fuel use and 20 per cent fewer emissions than the airplanes they replace.
"Norwegian has led the way in utilising the exceptional performance of the 787 to develop a successful low-cost long-haul operation," said vice president of European Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Todd Nelp. "The addition of 787-9s to the Norwegian fleet will enable it to grow its route structure, while providing more range and capacity with outstanding passenger comfort."
Norwegian serves more than 130 destinations across Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the USA and Southeast Asia, with a fleet that includes 90 Next-Generation 737-800s and eight 787-8s.
Source : HKSG.