Norway’s largest airline, the Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA said on Wednesday that it was further delaying deliveries of the Airbus and Boeing 737 MAX planes it ordered.
The airline, which is Europe’s third biggest low-cost airline and which is in financial difficulty, said it had reached agreement with the US planemaker to postpone the delivery of 14 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft that it had originally scheduled to take on next year and in 2021 through its Arctic Aviation Assets subsidiary.
That followed on from a previously announced agreement with Airbus to put off deliveries of “an unspecified number” of A320neo and A321LR planes.
It said the reschedulings and restructuring it is undertaking should reduce capital expenditure by $2.1 billion this year and next, adding that it was part of its “changed focus from growth to profitability”.
Norwegian was forced to raise more than 300 million euros in a share issue early this year and embark on a vast cost-cutting programme.
Its fleet management strategy was complicated by the disaster surrounding the 737 MAX aircraft, which have been grounded following two deadly crashes for different airlines in recent months that pointed to problems in its anti-stall system.
Boeing said Wednesday it suffered a $1 billion hit to its bottom line over the 737 MAX crisis and was going to work hard to “re-earn the trust of the flying public”.
Norwegian had 18 Boeing 737 MAX planes in its fleet, all of them now barred from flying.
The airline, headquartered in Fornebu, Norway, will on Thursday present its results for the first three months of 2019.