UPDATE 2-Norwegian Air may seek compensation for Dreamliner problems

Mon Sep 9, 2013 1:35pm EDT

* Airline suffers technical problems with both Dreamliners
    * Both aircraft now back in service


    OSLO, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Norwegian Air Shuttle said
it grounded a second Boeing Dreamliner within a week for
a technical problem and will seek compensation for its troubles
with the high-tech aircraft.
    The airline operates two Dreamliners and lost use of both in
the past week due to unrelated problems, forcing it to lease
Airbus A340s on short notice, it said.
    The Dreamliner, which seats about 250 passengers, was
expected to be a game-changer for the aviation industry as its
use of lighter materials and new engines promised 20 percent
savings in fuel consumption. But the program has been troubled
by more than three years of delays in getting the planes into
service and several incidents that have raised concerns about
the plane's safety.
    Norwegian said one plane was stuck in Stockholm for five
days because of a brake problem while the other was grounded in
Oslo over the weekend because it would not receive power on the
ground, requiring new parts.
    "We will talk to Boeing now and expect that Boeing will take
their share of responsibility," said airline spokesman Lasse
Sandaker-Nielsen. 
    "Of course you expect some minor problems initially (with a
new aircraft), but now we have experienced two incidents in a
few days that have taken way too long a time to fix." 
    Boeing said it had worked with Norwegian to fix the problems
and that the aircraft were back in use.
    "We are committed to improving the 787's in-service dispatch
reliability and are applying the resources required to achieve
the results that we and our customers expect," said Boeing
spokesman Marc Birtel.
    "We have a significant focus on component reliability
improvements and working airline-by-airline to ensure we have
the right support in place to help them through the entry into
service process."
    He didn't say what had caused the planes to be grounded for
so long. Boeing has a real-time customer support system and
teams of technicians poised to respond quickly when an aircraft
is on the ground for a mechanical problem.
    The Dreamliner suffered its biggest setback earlier this
year when authorities grounded the entire fleet for more than
three months after a faulty lithium-ion battery system caused
two batteries to overheat, and in one case resulted in a fire.
The system was redesigned, retrofitted on existing jets and
added to new production. 
    Despite the Dreamliner crisis, Boeing has a record order
book and is expected to deliver more planes this year than at
any time in its history. Investors, unperturbed by the plane's
problems, have sent Boeing stock up more than 40 percent this
year. 
    Norwegian has three more Dreamliners on order and three it
intends to lease three more to expand its transatlantic service.
The eight-plane fleet is worth about $1.65 billion at list
prices.