One of Norwegian Air’s brand new Boeing 737 aircraft remains grounded at Shiraz in Iran, after having to land in the country because of engine trouble after takeoff from Dubai in December. US President Donald Trump’s sanctions have prevented Boeing from sending parts needed to repair the jet.
“Unfortunately this is taking more time than expected because of paperwork,” Norwegian Air spokesman Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen told newspaper Dagsavisen on Tuesday. “We’re working to get the aircraft in the air again as quickly as possible, but we don’t have any concrete date to report.”
The new jet, featuring the late Norwegian lyricist Hans Børli on its tail, developed engine trouble just two weeks after its delivery. The pilots on board felt compelled to shut down the engine and land at the closest airport on December 14. Passengers were later allowed to leave Iran but the aircraft is stuck: Dagsavisen reported that if more than 10 percent of the parts needed to repair the jet come from the US, they’ll be subject to the sanctions Trump controversially imposed against Iran.
The situation can only be frustrating for Norwegian Air, not least since many countries including Norway view Trump’s sanctions as illegitimate. His aim is to make things as difficult as he can for Iran, in this case blocking important aircraft parts in order to disrupt the country’s air traffic. Norwegian Air, already facing many other problems, seems caught in the conflict, but won’t say how much the loss of the aircraft is costing.