(Corrects to say Norwegian taking Dreamliner out of long-haul
service, not returning Dreamliner to Boeing)
OSLO, Sept 28 Budget airline Norwegian Air
Shuttle is taking one of its brand new Dreamliners out
of long-haul service and demanding that Boeing repair the
plane after it suffered repeated breakdowns, the carrier said on
Norwegian Air Shuttle will instead lease an Airbus
A340 from HiFly to keep its long-haul business going, a
"The aircraft's reliability is simply not acceptable, our
passengers cannot live with this kind of performance," spokesman
Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen told Reuters.
"We are taking it out of long-haul service."
A Boeing spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for
The Dreamliner was expected to be a game-changer for the
aviation industry, but there have been delays getting it into
service and setbacks including the grounding of all the planes
due to battery problems.
Norwegian launched long-haul operations this year and hoped
to capitalise on Dreamliner's lower operating cost as the jet's
lighter-weight engines promised a 20 percent savings on fuel.
But its first two Dreamliners, part of a planned fleet of
eight, broke down over half a dozen times in September, forcing
it to lease back-up planes on short notice or cancel flights.
Norwegian summoned Boeing's management this week and the
aircraft manufacturer promised to locate spare parts centres at
all of the airline's long-haul destinations and send a team of
engineers to the Nordics to monitor the planes.
The aircraft that will be returned is still stuck in Bangkok
after a hydraulic pump failure this week and will be flown back
to Stockholm where Boeing will carry out the work.
(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Hugh Lawson)