Norwegian withdraws Dreamliner from service

Norwegian withdraws Dreamliner from service

Low-cost carrier Norwegian has taken one of its Boeing 787 Dreamliners out of long-haul service demanding the manufacturer repair the aircraft after repeated breakdowns.

Boeing said the repairs would take "a matter of days".

Norwegian is leasing an Airbus A340 from HiFly to keep its long-haul service going, a spokesman said.

"The aircraft's reliability is simply not acceptable; our passengers cannot live with this kind of performance," spokesman Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen told Reuters.

"We are taking it out of long-haul service."

The aircraft concerned was in Bangkok after a hydraulic pump failure last week and was due to be flown back to Stockholm.

"In consultation with Norwegian, the decision has been made to implement a number of enhancements to improve the airplane's in-service reliability following its return to Stockholm," Boeing said in a statement.

"As a result, it is expected the airplane will be out of service for a matter of days."

Norwegian launched long-haul operations this year and hoped to capitalise on Dreamliner's lower operating cost as its lighter-weight engines promised a 20% savings on fuel.

But its first two Dreamliners, part of a planned fleet of eight, broke down more than six times in September, forcing it to lease back-up aircraft on short notice or cancel flights.

The airline plans to use 787s to start new routes between Scandinavia and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlando in spring 2014. A Copenhagen-New York route is also planned.


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