Need for flexibility led Norwegian to set up leasing arm

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Norwegian intends to use its new asset-management entity to adapt its fleet to market conditions by selling or leasing surplus aircraft to third parties, chief executive Bjørn Kjos confirms.

In August, the airline disclosed that it had established September Aviation Assets, incorporated in Ireland. A Boeing 737-800 due for delivery the following month was assigned to be the first aircraft under the new entity's control.

In future, says Kjos, the entity could find new homes for 737NGs replaced by more efficient jets, or it might lease newly delivered aircraft that are not immediately required by Norwegian. "It depends on the market," says Kjos, who notes that his airline has secured early delivery slots for both 737 Max and Airbus A320neo narrowbodies.

Kjos argues that the leasing arm grants Norwegian flexibility in scaling capacity.

In January 2012, Norwegian ordered 100 737 Max 8s, 22 737-800s and 100 A320neos.

Its fleet currently consists of 68 737-800s, 10 737-300s and two 787s.