Norwegian is to expand its long-haul capability by agreeing to buy 19 new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in a deal worth more than $5 billion.
The order will help more than quadruple the low-cost carrier’s current long-haul fleet to 38 aircraft within the next five years.
The agreement is the largest single order of 787-9s in Europe and includes purchase options for an additional ten aircraft of the same type.
The new order will enable the carrier to launch even more long-haul routes and expand its existing network in the coming years.
Norwegian operates eight 787-8 Dreamliners and has 11 of the larger 787-9 on order. The first deliveries from the new order start in 2017.
With a longer fuselage, the 787-9 will fly 53 more passengers than the 787-8. Norwegian’s version of the 787-9 has 344 seats with 35 in premium and 309 in economy.
Norwegian’s asset company, Arctic Aviation Assets will own the aircraft.
The airline’s chief executive, Bjørn Kjos, said: “This order of 19 new Dreamliners is a major milestone and enables Norwegian to offer a wide range of new routes to travellers worldwide.
“After two years of operating low-cost long-haul flights, our load factors have averaged over 90%, which proves the demand for affordable flights between Europe and the US and Europe and Asia.
“The fuel-efficient, state-of-the-art 787 Dreamliner will be crucial to our future growth and competiveness in the long-haul market and in offering the best possible passenger experience.”
Boeing Commercial Airplanes European sales vice president, Todd Nelp, said: “Norwegian has led the way in utilising the exceptional performance of the 787 to develop a successful low-cost long-haul operation.
“The addition of 787-9s to the Norwegian fleet will enable it to grow its route structure, while providing more range and capacity with outstanding passenger comfort.”
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