Low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle has confirmed an order for an additional six Next-Generation Boeing 737-800s.
According to Boeing, this order means Norwegian has ordered a total of 48 737-800s from Boeing, as well as 22 from leasing companies. The airline currently operates a fleet of 28 Boeing 737-300s and 16 737-800s, but eventually intends to operate an all-737-800 fleet that is planned to reach at least 70 aircraft.
The new 737s will feature advanced-technology Blended Winglets, an environmental innovation that reduces drag, resulting in less fuel consumption and a decrease in carbon emissions of 3.5 to 4 per cent.
The Oslo-based carrier has opened various new markets in Europe and beyond since it was founded on September 1, 2002. Norwegian has reported continuous growth in its passenger figures and improved margins throughout the 2008-2009 recession.
On October 22, the company announced its highest quarterly operating profit to date. Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos has placed the 737-800 at the heart of Norwegian’s fleet expansion.
“As we expand our markets and provide more low-cost options for our rapidly growing customer base, it makes strategic sense that the 737-800 forms the bedrock of our fleet,” says Kjos. “We are also pleased because the airplanes have one of the best environmental profiles in the industry, significantly reducing emissions and noise. Norwegian has more than 200 routes to 90 destinations, carrying more than 10,000,000 passengers over the last 12 months.”
Norwegian will be one of the first airlines in Europe to incorporate the new 737 Boeing Sky Interior, starting at the end of 2010. Inspired by years of design research on the 787 Dreamliner, 737NGs with this new interior will feature soft, blue-sky-like lighting overhead, contemporary sculpted sidewalls and window reveals designed to draw passengers’ eyes to the aircraft’s windows, enhancing the passengers’ overall flying experience.
Norwegian’s single-class-cabin 737-800s are equipped with state-of-the-art Recaro seats, which offer increased legroom without compromising capacity. Norwegian has opted for a 186-seat configuration in its aircraft instead of the 737-800’s maximum capacity of 189 seats.