After years of problems with its Boeing 787 Dreamliners and 737 MAX jets, Norwegian Air has decided to sue the Seattle-based aircraft producer. The suit comes just after Norwegian also cancelled its entire order for 92 more of the MAX jets.
“We still want to reach a commercial agreement,” Geir Karlsen, finance director for Norwegian, told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN), “and if we don’t get one, this lawsuit is an alternative.”
Negotiations for compensation from Boeing have dragged on for months, after Norwegian and its passengers were plagued for years by trouble with the batteries and motors on the 787 Dreamliners that turned into nightmares for all involved. Many a trip on the otherwise new jets used on Norwegian’s ambitious intercontinental had to be cancelled, leaving passengers stranded since Norwegian had no back-up to offer.
“You can view this as a sign that we haven’t reached any agreement regarding a settlement (from Boeing) that we think is acceptable,” Karlsen said. He wouldn’t comment on whether Boeing has offered any sorely needed cash compensation to Norwegian, at a time when the airline remains mostly grounded because of the Corona crisis.
Boeing wouldn’t comment on “commercial discussions” either, but noted that Norwegian has been a long-time customer. The entire airline industry is currently in a demanding situation, Boeing noted, adding that it was trying to find a way forward.
Both the order cancellation and the lawsuit were discussed with Norwegian Air’s newest and largest shareholders, including major aircraft leasing companies that recently agreed to convert debt to equity. They all met for a digital annual shareholders meeting on Tuesday, as the airline itself plans to finally start flying more routes this months around Europe.