Norwegian Air Shuttle has finalized an order for 19 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and has taken options on 10 more.
Boeing values Norwegian Air’s firm order at more than $5 billion at current list prices and says the deal is the largest single order for 787-9s from a European airline.
Norwegian’s asset-holding company, Arctic Aviation Assets Limited (AAA), will own the aircraft.
The new order will enable Norwegian to launch more long-haul routes and expand its existing network, according to the carrier.
Norwegian currently operates eight Boeing 787-8s and has previously signed lease agreements for 11 Boeing 787-9s through lease agreements.
Oslo-headquartered Norwegian will take delivery of the first 787-9 from its new order in 2017 and by the end of 2020 it will have taken all 19, as well as all 11 of the 787-9s for which it has previously signed leases.
By then Norwegian will be operating 38 Boeing 787s – eight 787-8s and 30 787-9s – and it may also have firmed some of the 10 options it now holds.
“This order of 19 new Dreamliners is a major milestone and enables Norwegian to offer a wide range of new routes to consumers worldwide,” says Bjørn Kjos, Norwegian’s CEO. “The order is also essential to further strengthening the company in the global competition.”
Kjos continues: “After two years of operating low-cost long-haul flights, our load factors have averaged in the nineties, which proves the demand for affordable flights between Europe and the U.S. and Europe and Asia.”
Adds Kjos: “Future growth and competitiveness in the long-haul market depends on the fuel-efficient, state-of-the art 787 Dreamliner. Not least, the Dreamliner offers the best passenger experience.”
In Norwegian’s configuration, each of its 787-9s will fly 53 more passengers than each of its 787-8s. Each Norwegian 787-9 will have 344 seats, 35 in premium economy and 309 in economy.
Its October 22 order for 19 787-9s increases Norwegian’s outstanding orderbook with Boeing to 158 aircraft: 39 737-800s, 100 737 MAXs and 19 787-9s.
Norwegian also has an order outstanding for 100 Airbus A320neos. In addition, it holds options for six 737-800s, 100 737 MAXs, 10 787-9s and 50 A320neos.
The airline currently serves more than 130 destinations in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the U.S. and Southeast Asia, with a fleet of 90 737-800s and eight 787-8s.
In 2014 the airline carried nearly 24 million passengers.