European airline orders 222 aircraft

Norwegian Air Shuttle claims to have placed the largest ever aircraft order made by a European airline by committing to 222 new aircraft.

Worth NOK 127 billion, the deal will see Norwegian become the European launch customer for the new Boeing 737 MAX8 with an order of 100, plus 22 new generation B737-800s and purchase rights for an additional 100 aircraft.

The carrier has also made firm orders for 100 fuel efficient Airbus A320neo aircraft and purchase rights for a further 50. Deliveries are due to start from 2016.

Following this transaction Norwegian has a total of 150 purchase rights and 277 aircraft due for future delivery, which includes 55 previously ordered B737-800s. Norwegian also has a firm order for six B787-8 Dreamliners.

CEO Bjørn Kjos said: “Today is a historic day for Norwegian. The order is the largest ever in European aviation history and marks a major milestone in the company’s 10 year history.

“We have secured our fleet renewal for years to come and are very pleased with the agreements with both Airbus and Boeing.

“Norwegian has now reached a size where we will benefit from having two suppliers, both in terms of ensuring adequate flight capacity, flexibility and competition between two manufacturers.”

He added: “International air traffic will keep on growing in the years ahead and Norwegian is determined to be a strong, stable and attractive player in the airline industry.

“We will continue to provide our customers with quality at a low fare and live up to our vision that everyone should be able to afford to fly. The new aircraft are win-win for our passengers, the environment and the company’s costs.

“As we intend to replace every aircraft after seven years of operation, it is mandatory that we plan at least 10 to 20 years ahead. We will sell or rent out our older aircraft in order to keep a young fleet.”

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