10:41 GMT26 February 2021
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    Norwegian's fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8s has been largely grounded since their acquisition following a series of tragic crashes that resulted in a massive loss of life. Instead, the low-cost airline plans to revert to its workhorse Boeing 737-800, around which the airline was built.

    Norwegian Air Shuttle has decided to dispose of its accident-prone Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft and has tasked the Irish company ORIX Aviation Systems Ltd to help sell them, national broadcaster NRK reported.

    Overall, the company will broker agreements for 14 aircraft, 12 Boeing 737 MAX 8s, and two Boeing 787 9 Dreamliners currently leased to Norwegian Air Shuttle.

    "We are very excited to be able to offer these aircraft to the market", ORIX Aviation CEO James Meyler said. "We at ORIX have the added benefit that our customers can secure these aircraft either through lease or sale. The aircraft will be attractive alternatives for our airlines and trading partners who seek access to two of the most fuel-efficient and desirable aircraft types available", Meyler added.

    Norwegian Air previously voiced plans to slim down its fleet from 140 to 50-60 aircraft during the looming reconstruction. Norwegian's future fleet will largely consist of its workhorse Boeing 737-800, the type of aircraft around which the company was built. And with a fleet consisting of entirely Boeing 737-800s, the use of crew is optimal, and maintenance is easiest, NRK reported.

    At present, Norwegian Air has 18 Boeing 737 MAX 8s in its fleet, yet most of them have been grounded more or less since Norwegian acquired them.

    The reason was that the aircraft was banned from flying after two tragic crashes in which 346 people died. One was Lion Air Flight 610 in October 2018 with 189 fatalities and the other was Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 in March 2019 with 157 victims. Both crashes occurred shortly after takeoff and largely followed the same pattern. A software error was suspected to have been a contributing factor in the crashes.

    Prior to the accident in Ethiopia, there were around 370 Boeing 737 MAX 8 passenger planes in operation around the world, with some 5,000 ordered. Following the accident, all MAX 737 aircraft were grounded worldwide.

    Boeing has since updated the aircraft's software following a fault in the MCAS control system that was linked to the accidents. Following the accidents, Boeing posted the largest quarterly loss in the company's history.

    In January 2020, Boeing announced a stop in further production of MAX aircraft. However, a few weeks ago, the aircraft was re-approved by the European Aviation Safety Agency EASA.

    Norwegian Air Shuttle or Norwegian is a low-cost airline, the largest in Scandinavia and among the largest in Europe. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the company sought bankrupcy protection and cancelled up to 85 percent of its flights, laying off 7,300 workers.

    Related:

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    Tags:
    Boeing, Norwegian, Norway
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