Norwegian operated 97.4% of flights in March despite the ban on Boeing 737 MAX

Norwegian operated 97.4% of flights in March despite the ban on Boeing 737 MAX

The airline Norwegian operated 97.4% of its flights in March despite the ban on the temporary flight of the Boeing 737 MAX decreed by the authorities of several countries because of the fatal accident of an aircraft of that model in Ethiopia.

The Boeing 737 Max, of which Norwegian owns 18 aircraft, remains vetoed by many countries due to doubts arising after two accidents, one in Ethiopia in March – in which 157 people died – and another in Indonesia in October, in which they died 189

The Norwegian company has pushed several measures in recent weeks to cover the capacity deficit such as postponing the sale of old models, renting planes and taking advantage of its 787 Dreamliner on highly requested routes.

"Although our Boeing 737 MAXs were withdrawn from production this month, the overall regularity is satisfactory and punctuality has risen by 8.5 percentage points," Norwegian Chief Executive Bjørn Kjos said in a statement.

Kjos revealed that he has had "productive meetings" with Boeing in which he has discussed how they can handle "the difficulties that MAX's situation is causing in Norwegian."

The third low-cost airline in Europe, which last year transported 37 million passengers, announced a few weeks ago that it will request financial compensation from the US aeronautics giant for the losses caused by the ban.

Norwegian transported 2.96 million passengers in March, up 5% year-on-year, although the data is not comparable due to the effect of Holy Week, which in 2018 was at the end of March and 2019 will be in mid-April, explained the company.

Although the causes of the claims of the 737 MAX are not yet known, the investigations suggest that they could be due to failures in a software designed to improve safety in the ascent phase of the devices or in the sensors that activate that mechanism.

The IAG group -compounded by Iberia, Aer Lingus, Vueling and British Airways- acquired 3.93% of Norwegian a year ago and tried to start talks with the Norwegian airline to buy it, but ended up discarding a takeover bid after failing to reach an agreement.


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