Norwegian Air says Boeing promises quick fix for Dreamliners

Reuters
The Boeing logo is seen at their headquarters in Chicago
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The Boeing logo is seen at their headquarters in Chicago, April 24, 2013. REUTERS/Jim Young

OSLO (Reuters) - Boeing (NYS:BA) has agreed to base a group of Dreamliner technicians in Oslo and set up more spare parts centres to fix aircraft quicker after Norwegian Air Shuttle (OSL:NAS) had a string of technical problems, the Oslo-based carrier said on Wednesday.

Boeing flew senior executives to Oslo, including Ray Conner, the head of its commercial airplanes unit on Wednesday.

"It was a positive discussion," Norwegian Chief Executive Bjoern Kjos said. "They agreed to put up spare part stocks at designations we fly to and they'll send a dedicated team of experts to Norwegian so if there's a problem popping up, they can immediately solve it."

Kjos said compensation was not discussed even though he said the company indicated to Boeing that it expected the U.S. firm to take its share of responsibility for the problems, which grounded both of the firm's Dreamliners several times over the past month.

"Most important is to have the aircraft running before we know the cost, that's at a later stage," he said.

Norwegian has eight Dreamliners on order including three that it ordered directly from Boeing and five that it is leasing.

The eight-plane fleet, which it plans to use to expand its transatlantic service, is worth $1.65 billion at list prices.

The Dreamliner 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 there have been delays getting the planes into service and setbacks including the temporary grounding of all planes because of problems with batteries.

(Reporting by Balazs Koranyi and Nerijus Adomaitis; Editing by David Evans and Jane Merriman)

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