Norwegian Air Shuttle claims to have placed the largest order for delivery of new aircraft in European aviation history.
The Oslo based carrier has signed for delivery of a total of 222 new aircraft which has a contract value at list prices of NOK 127 billion (£14 billion).
This is thought to be the largest single investment in Norway.
The order includes 122 aircraft from Boeing; 100 of the new Boeing 737 MAX8 and 22 Next-Generation 737-800.
Norwegian has also signed an agreement with Airbus which includes firm orders of a total of 100 Airbus A320neo as well as purchase rights for an additional 50. This marks Norwegian’s first aircraft purchase from Airbus.
The deliveries of the new aircraft types start in 2016, and will expand and replace the carrier’s existing fleet.
“Today is a historic day for Norwegian. The order is the largest ever in European aviation history and marks a major milestone in the company’s 10 year history. We have secured our fleet renewal for years to come and are very pleased with the agreements with both Airbus and Boeing,” said CEO Bjørn Kjos at Norwegian.
“Norwegian has now reached a size where we will benefit from having two suppliers, both in terms of ensuring adequate flight capacity, flexibility and competition between two manufacturers,” said Kjos.
“International air traffic will keep on growing in the years ahead and Norwegian is determined to be a strong, stable and attractive player in the airline industry. We will continue to provide our customers with quality at a low fare and live up to our vision that everyone should afford to fly.
The new aircraft are win-win for our passengers, the environment and the company’s costs. As we intend to replace every aircraft after seven years of operation, it is mandatory that we plan at least 10 to 20 years ahead. We will sell or rent out our older aircraft in order to keep a young fleet”.
“Norwegian’s order of 42 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft in 2007 was by many viewed as a bold investment. History has, however, shown that it was a necessary move to ensure our competitiveness and reduce costs. This order has been extended several times since 2007, proving that our need for aircraft has been far greater than we anticipated five years ago,” said Kjos.
Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA will be the European launch customer for the new Boeing 737 MAX8. The aircraft is the successor of the 737-800 and will give a 10-12% reduction in fuel burn over its predecessor. Compared to a 737-800 built in 2001, the fuel reduction is 15 to 20 percent, a huge advantage to the environment and the company’s costs.
Following this transaction Norwegian has a total of 150 purchase rights and 277 aircraft for future delivery, including 55 previously ordered Boeing 737-800. In addition Norwegian has a firm order of 6 787-8 Dreamliners.