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According to an interview with Norwegian’s CFO Geir Karlsen published by E24, Norwegian chooses to drop Boeing 737 MAX and keep Boeing 737NG in its fleet instead.
Before the regulators grounded Boeing 737 MAX, Norwegian had already received 18 aircraft of the type. In July 2020, Norwegian reached out to Boeing to cancel the rest of the order, which initially was for 100 aircraft. However, the parties still have not concluded this. As a result of the decision to refuse Boeing 737 MAX, Norwegian will be left with all Boeing 737NG fleet of 53 airplanes.
Norwegian has been deciding internally which of the two different types to give preference to as they both have their pros and cons. They must have done the calculation of the aircraft type itself and decided to focus on Boeing 737NG. The restructuring process in Ireland and dialogues with the creditors also must have impacted the final decision.
The airline remains in bankruptcy protection. Besides the fleet reorganization, the operator is shifting away from long-haul services to short-haul flights. Therefore, this Boeing 737 MAX move is just another attempt to help the company deal with its financial burden.