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Norwegian 787s to be serviced at Boeing's Gatwick hangar

Norwegian will make use of the new Boeing maintenance hangar at London Gatwick when it opens in 2019, chief executive Bjorn Kjos has confirmed.

Speaking in London on 13 February, Kjos said that checks on Norwegian's UK-based Boeing 787s would be conducted at the facility. "Gatwick is by far our largest base of Dreamliners, so that's where we need the hangars," he notes.

Norwegian is increasing the number of 787s based at Gatwick from eight to 12 this year, and also has 737s stationed at the airport.

The carrier's senior vice-president of network development Matt Wood says that, at present, subsidiary Norwegian Air UK has the bulk of the maintenance checks on its 787 fleet carried out at facilities in Nordic countries.

Using a facility at Gatwick is a "much more cost-effective solution", Wood acknowledges, as aircraft "can go back and forth" for checks, allowing greater utilisation of the fleet.

The Boeing facility will be able to accommodate three widebodies at a time, Wood notes.

He says Norwegian will also send Boeing narrowbodies for checks at the facility, but that it is "too early to say" how maintenance of the incoming fleets of Airbus A321LRs will be handled.

Norwegian has enlisted in Boeing's aftermarket support programme, and maintenance services are being provided to the Scandinavian budget carrier by the airframer's UK partner Monarch Aircraft Engineering.

Earlier this month, Irish construction firm John Sisk & Son confirmed that it has been awarded the contract to delivery Boeing's new Gatwick maintenance hangar.

The contractor says the 32m-high hangar has been designed for flexibility and will be able to house aircraft ranging in size from the 737 Max to the 777X.

Ajaz Shafi, managing director of Sisk UK South, state that the company will utilise experience gained from previous schemes at Birmingham International, London Luton and Dublin airports.

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