Norwegian Still Unsatisfied with Dreamliners

 - January 22, 2014, 12:10 PM
Norwegian Air Shuttle now flies three of a firm order for five 787-8s. It also holds a firm order for a pair of 787-9s. (Photo: Norwegian Air Shuttle)

Norwegian Air Shuttle reported on Wednesday that it remains unsatisfied with the reliability of its three Boeing 787s following Sunday’s incident in which a problem with a fuel valve delayed a flight between Bangkok and Stockholm for 19 hours. Norwegian Dreamliners have suffered a series of maintenance glitches such as erroneous fault warnings, costing the airline revenue and standing with its customers.

“We are not satisfied with the recent reliability issues on our 787 fleet as it causes frustration among our passengers who rely on good on-time performance,” Norwegian Air communications manager Lasse Sandaker-Nielson told AIN. He said he couldn’t offer specific dispatch reliability figures, however.

Norwegian uses Boeing’s Gold Care for all maintenance on its 787 fleet. Boeing engineers working on the Norwegian fleet have come under scrutiny following reports that they short-circuited one of the airplanes when attempting to address a brake fault message, leading to a three-day grounding from December 29.

Sunday’s incident came just two days before a battery malfunction in a Japan Airlines 787 just prior to its scheduled departure from Tokyo prompted an investigation by the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau and the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, raising new questions about the integrity of a system redesign devised to mitigate the possibility of fire propagation. Battery overheating in airplanes operated by JAL and fellow Japanese airline ANA led to a worldwide grounding of the worldwide 787 fleet early last year, forcing Boeing to develop modifications to the charging system and install containment and venting systems.