Norwegian leases A340 as Dreamliner debut sours

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Low-cost carrier Norwegian is wet-leasing an Airbus A340 after deciding to take its second Boeing 787 out of service to settle recent operational difficulties.

Norwegian took delivery of its first 787 in June to operate on its new long-haul services, later adding a second of the type. But it has since faced several instances of disruption to the carrier's long-haul services which, at times, have taken both of its 787s out of service, forcing it to lease capacity from other operators.

"As we are not satisfied with the way this our second 787 has been performing, causing too many delays for our passengers, we are taking it out of long-haul service in order for Boeing to improve the operational stability of the aircraft to meet the level of stability we expect of a new aircraft," says the airline.

"We are wet-leasing an A340 to operate until we are satisfied with the 787's performance," it adds.

Boeing had previously promised the Scandinavian carrier assistance from a quick-response team tasked with smoothing its 787 operations.

Chief executive Bjørn Kjos has disclosed that Boeing is to "put together a team" to address "immediately" any technical issues on the type.

It follows a meeting between Norwegian and the airframer after disruption to the carrier's long-haul services.

Kjos has publicly apologised to passengers for the excessive delays and says the carrier gave Boeing a "clear message" that the situation is "unacceptable".

As part of the response measure, he says, Boeing will ensure that essential spares are available at all airports to which Norwegian operates the 787.