Norwegian carrier buys 222 Boeing, Airbus planes
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
OSLO, Norway (AP) — Budget airline Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA on Wednesday said it has signed deals worth $127 billion kronor (($21.6 billion) to purchase 222 planes from Boeing and Airbus.
The total order, which includes 122 Boeing 737 aircraft and 100 Airbus A320 planes, is the largest ever aircraft purchase in Europe, Norwegian Air Shuttle said.
“Today is a historic day for Norwegian,” its CEO Bjoern Kjos said. “We have secured our fleet renewal for years to come and are very pleased with the agreements with both Airbus and Boeing.”
Norwegian Air Shuttle, one of Europe’s fastest growing airlines, sees the acquisition of new, fuel-efficient aircraft as key to its strategy to offer low-cost fares. It has expanded rapidly in Europe, and Kjos told The Associated Press last month that it’s now planning to launch long-haul operations, with flights to New York and Bangkok scheduled to start in early 2013.
The deal with Boeing includes orders for 100 Boeing 737 MAX8s and 22 Boeing Next-Generation 737-800s, in addition to purchase rights for an additional 100 737 MAX8 aircraft. Boeing said Norwegian is the first European carrier to complete an order for its 737 MAX aircraft.
The Airbus agreement is for 100 Airbus A320neo planes, with purchase rights for an additional 50.
Norwegian, which had previously only used Boeing planes, said it would benefit from using two aircraft suppliers “both in terms of ensuring adequate flight capacity, flexibility and competition between two manufacturers.”