By Dow Jones Business News, September 16, 2013, 07:59:00 AM EDT
By Gustav Sandstrom
Another technical problem with a Boeing Co. ( BA ) 787 Dreamliner aircraft has marred Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA's
(NAS.OS) newly-launched long-haul business as an Oslo-bound flight left New York Sunday only after a delay and the
disembarking of some passengers.
Sunday's glitch is the latest in a series of problems with the new wide-body jet on which the U.S. aero-defense giant
is counting to meet strong demand from airlines for fuel-efficient long-distance aircraft.
The Norwegian Air Shuttle flight should have left New York at 9.30 local time Sunday evening but problems with a
hydraulic pump led to delays as the aircraft couldn't handle the full weight of the 250 passengers on board, Norwegian
communications manager Charlotte Holmbergh Jacobsson told The Wall Street Journal Monday.
The carrier had to disembark 70 passengers who spent the night at hotels in New York, with food vouchers and 600
euros($801) each in compensation, Ms. Holmbergh Jacobsson said.
"We don't know what will happen with those passengers, but probably some will fly to Arlanda [outside Stockholm] and
some to Oslo," Ms. Holmbergh Jacobsson said. "We don't know exactly what the problem with the aircraft is," she added. "
It's still in the air, and Boeing's technicians will have to check it out when it arrives in Oslo."
Boeing said it will work closely with Norwegian to iron out problems with the aircraft. "Obviously we are
disappointed to have issues so early on with the 787 operations, but it's not unusual to find such things when new
airplanes enter into service," said spokeswoman Fiona O'Farrell.
The incident follows on several recent mishaps involving Norwegian's two recently acquired Dreamliner jets. Last
weekend, one plane should have taken off from Oslo to Bangkok but stayed on the ground as it had problems getting enough
The other one remained grounded in Stockholm most of the week before due to indications of potential brake system
It's too early to tell whether Sunday's hydraulics issues were somehow related to the earlier problems, Ms. Holmbergh
Norwegian isn't the only airline to run into tech problems with the Dreamliner. United Airlines and All Nippon
Airways Co. have canceled flights earlier this year due to brake issues. Deliveries of new jets to companies including
Norwegian have been delayed due to problems with their batteries and electric system.
Norwegian isn't changing its plans to phase in more Dreamliners on its routes, Ms. Holmbergh Jacobsson said. "We'll
get a third one in November and hope it will function without problems," she said. "We have confidence in these
aircraft, that's why we bought them."
After the recent technical problems, Norwegian has initiated talks with Boeing over potential compensation, though
it's too early to tell in which form or when the negotiations may be concluded, Ms. Holmberg Jacobsson said. "It's their
aircraft, so we count on them taking responsibility," she added. Boeing's Ms. O'Farrell declined to comment.
Write to Gustav Sandstrom at Gustav.Sandstrom@wsj.com
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