Norwegian Air has cancelled a major order for Boeing 737 Max aircraft and become the first airline to take legal action against Boeing over the aircraft’s grounding.

The Boeing 737 Max has been grounded since March 2019 following two fatal crashes attributed to problems with the aircraft’s computerised systems.

Norwegian issued legal proceedings against Boeing seeking compensation for the aircraft’s grounding this week and cancelled an outstanding order for 92 Max aircraft

The struggling low-cost carrier also cancelled an outstanding order for five Boeing 787 Dreamliners, cancelled the maintenance agreements it has with Boeing for the 737 Max and the 787s, and issued a claim for compensation to longstanding problems with engines on its 787s.

Norwegian reported it is seeking the return of pre-delivery payments for the cancelled aircraft.

In a statement, Norwegian said the 737 Max’s grounding had “caused significant losses”.

In addition, the airline said: “Norwegian’s Rolls-Royce Trent 1000-powered 787 aircraft have suffered long-running reliability issues that have affected reliability and resulted in premature and unplanned maintenance, which has disrupted the Company’s operations and caused further significant losses.”

The carrier said its attempts to resolve its demands for compensation through “commercial dialogue with Boeing” had so far “not led to an agreement”.

Boeing operated the first certification test flight of a 737 Max since the aircraft’s grounding on Monday (June 29).

The manufacturer hopes a recertification of the Max by the US Federal Aviation Administration will allow the aircraft to return to operation before the end of the year.