Norwegian has dealt a blow to Boeing with the cancellation of 97 aircraft orders.
Airlines have been renegotiating aircraft orders as the coronavirus pandemic crashes demand for air travel. In a bid to stay afloat, many airlines have been attempting to delay new arrivals as much as possible.
Qatar Airways has been the most outspoken, with CEO Akbar al-Baker threatening Airbus and Boeing not to resist aircraft deferrals or the airline would “not do business with them again.” Since that comment, al-Baker has used his clout to negotiate eight to ten year deferrals on some orders, with the option to pull deliveries forward again when needed.
Norwegian has taken a different approach and outright cancelled 97 aircraft, comprising of 92 Boeing 737 MAX and five long haul Boeing 787s. It is also claiming financial compensation regarding the poor performance of its existing fleet, with the 737 MAX grounded for 15 months and the Boeing 787 continuing to have fan blade issues when equipped with Rolls-Royce engines.
Norwegian is in the midst of a restructuring which has effectively wiped out existing shareholders and handed control to its lenders via a debt to equity swap. It is not due to restart long haul flights until April 2021.