* Latest in series of technical problems for the plane
* Norwegian Air has three Dreamliners in operation
OSLO Dec 23 Budget airline Norwegian Air
Shuttle said one of its Boeing Dreamliners was
grounded in the United States, the latest in a string of
technical problems to hit the new plane.
The newest of the company's three Dreamliners should have
left Fort Lauderdale for Stockholm on Saturday but was unable to
due to technical problems, Norwegian Air said on Monday.
"We are waiting now for spare parts from Boeing, and once
they arrive the technicians are going to work on the plane,"
Norwegian Air spokeswoman Anne-Sissel Skaanvik told Reuters.
"We are getting these spare parts soon."
She could not give more detail as to the nature of the
The Dreamliner was supposed to be a game changer for the
aviation industry as its lightweight body and sophisticated
engines cut fuel consumption by 20 percent.
But it has been beset by problems, including a battery fire
that grounded the model for months this year and forced Boeing
to come up with a new battery design.
According to Stockholm's Arlanda Airport website, the plane
is expected to arrive in Sweden at 1200 GMT on Wednesday.
"We are very sorry about the delay and we understand that
this is a very frustrating time for the passengers," Skaanvik
Norwegian Air, Europe's third-biggest budget airline after
Ryanair and EasyJet, launched long-haul
operations this year and hoped to capitalise on the Dreamliner's
lower operating costs.
But during the autumn its first two Dreamliners broke down
more than half a dozen times, forcing it to lease back-up planes
at short notice or cancel flights. Since then the airline has
added a third Dreamliner to its fleet.
Last week Norwegian Air said it would buy another two 787-9
Dreamliners, seeing the aircraft's technical advances as
outweighing its operating problems as the budget carrier expands
in long-haul services.