Norwegian to Confront Boeing on Dreamliner as Glitches Mount

Norwegian Air Shuttle AS (NAS) said it plans to confront Boeing Co. (BA) about the increasing number of technical difficulties on its new 787 Dreamliner jets that are increasingly disrupting operation of long-distance flights.

“We are going to tell them that this situation is far from good enough,” Anne-Sissel Skaanvik, a spokeswoman for the Fornebu, Norway-based carrier, said by e-mail. “We have not had the reliability that we had expected from brand new planes, so something must happen, fast.”

Norwegian Air has grappled with technical glitches on the new jet, from cockpit oxygen supply issues that delayed a flight to New York from Oslo yesterday, to brake difficulties that hit the second 787 in Sweden this month. The malfunctions come after the global fleet of Dreamliners was grounded after some batteries on planes operated by Japanese carriers caught fire.

Norwegian, which last year ordered 222 Boeing and Airbus airliners valued at 127 billion kroner ($21.5 billion), is flying new routes and opening bases outside the Nordic region as it steps up competition with state-backed SAS Group AB. (SAS)

“Our expectation is that their strict quality control systems rule out ‘snags’ and technical issues before delivery to the customer,” Skanvik said of Boeing.

The U.S. manufacturer’s flagship airliner, distinctive for its composite fuselage and electrical architecture, came under more scrutiny after one caught fire in London in July, a blaze later linked to defective wiring in an emergency beacon widely used by airlines. The jet made its commercial debut in 2011.

“We are in constant contact with our customer Norwegian,” Boeing spokeswoman Fiona O’Farrell said by e-mail. “We are disappointed to have issues so early in our 787 operations and are working with Norwegian to address them and return each airplane to service in as timely a manner as possible.”

The Norwegian Air Dreamliner grounded yesterday because of issues related to oxygen supply has resumed flying.

Passengers en route to New York from Oslo were delayed for four hours waiting for a replacement 787, which also required a fix after flying in from Stockholm Arlanda.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kari Lundgren in London at klundgren2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net

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