UPDATE 1-Norwegian says taking Dreamliner out of long-haul service, demanding repairs (not 'to return Dreamliner to Boeing')

Reuters

(Corrects to say Norwegian taking Dreamliner out of long-haulservice, not returning Dreamliner to Boeing)

OSLO, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Budget airline Norwegian AirShuttle is taking one of its brand new Dreamliners outof long-haul service and demanding that Boeing repair theplane after it suffered repeated breakdowns, the carrier said onSaturday.

Norwegian Air Shuttle will instead lease an Airbus A340 from HiFly to keep its long-haul business going, aspokesman said.

"The aircraft's reliability is simply not acceptable, ourpassengers cannot live with this kind of performance," spokesmanLasse Sandaker-Nielsen told Reuters.

"We are taking it out of long-haul service."

A Boeing spokeswoman could not immediately be reached forcomment.

The Dreamliner was expected to be a game-changer for theaviation industry, but there have been delays getting it intoservice and setbacks including the grounding of all the planesdue to battery problems.

Norwegian launched long-haul operations this year and hopedto capitalise on Dreamliner's lower operating cost as the jet'slighter-weight engines promised a 20 percent savings on fuel.

But its first two Dreamliners, part of a planned fleet ofeight, broke down over half a dozen times in September, forcingit to lease back-up planes on short notice or cancel flights.

Norwegian summoned Boeing's management this week and theaircraft manufacturer promised to locate spare parts centres atall of the airline's long-haul destinations and send a team ofengineers to the Nordics to monitor the planes.

The aircraft that will be returned is still stuck in Bangkokafter a hydraulic pump failure this week and will be flown backto Stockholm where Boeing will carry out the work. (Reporting by Balazs Koranyi; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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