The service director for aircraft maker Boeing took responsibility on Friday for much if not all of the trouble that Oslo-based airline Norwegian has had with its new long-haul service that relied on Boeing’s new Dreamliner jets. Delivery delays and a long string of technical and mechanical problems with the Dreamliners have left Norwegian with disappointed and furious passengers.
Mike Fleming of Boeing told reporters in Oslo that Norwegian is the only airline that actually bought a full service program from Boeing. That means, Fleming said, that every time an aircraft has problems because Boeing hasn’t delivered in accordance with the program, “it’s our fault.” He said Boeing was “working hard” to rectify all the problems, and help restore Norwegian’s reputation.
Passengers have had their travel plans severely disrupted because flights have been subject to lengthy delays or been cancelled. Since Norwegian is not a member of any airline alliance, passengers often have been stranded until replacement aircraft is arranged. It’s not just a matter of putting passengers on other available flights.
Things went from bad to worse over the holidays, when more problems meant that hundreds of Norwegian passengers spent Christmas and New Year in airports, often far from home. Holidays were ruined and all told, fully 49 percent of Norwegian’s departures from May to September last year were delayed.
Fleming said he saw no problems with how Norwegian operates, or that it started its long-haul service with just a few aircraft. A Norwegian spokesman told DN.no that he was glad Boeing was taking responsibility for the problems and admits that they’re not satisfied with their aircraft’s operating stability either.
Neither Norwegian nor Boeing would discuss whether Norwegian will get any compensation from Boeing, citing contractual confidentiality.