As Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are grounded across Europe following Sunday's Ethiopian Airlines crash, Norwegian Air said it would ask Boeing for compensation.
The airline is one of the biggest operators of the aircraft in the UK, with 18 planes in a fleet of 163. Tui Airways, another operator of the Boeing 737 MAX in the UK, has also grounded its five aircraft.
Norwegian's CEO Bjørn Kjos said today that the airline would not bear the cost of grounding its MAX fleet.
“We will send this bill to those who produce this aircraft,” he said.
He added that customers were Norwegian’s main priority, and that the airline was “combining flights, reallocating aircraft and booking customers onto other departures” to avoid disruption.
“Only a small part of our operation is affected.
“We hope and expect that our MAXs will be airborne soon.”
"I would like to apologize to those customers who have been affected by the temporary grounding of our 737 MAX aircraft. Our customers are our main priority now," says Norwegian's CEO Bjørn Kjos. #flynorwegian pic.twitter.com/xZLmKTIa0A— Norwegian (@Fly_Norwegian)March 13, 2019
Boeing maintains that it has "full confidence" in the safety of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
Norwegian's comments come as the US and Canada are the two only major nations still flying the Boeing 737 MAX jet, which was involved in the Ethiopian Airlines crash on Sunday that killed all 157 people onboard.
Acting Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) administrator Dan Elwell said its review showed “no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft”.
He added that no foreign civil aviation authorities had “provided data to us that would warrant action”.
“In the course of our urgent review of data on the Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crash, if any issues affecting the continued airworthiness of the aircraft are identified, the FAA will take immediate and appropriate action,” said Mr Elwell.
There are now just a handful of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft flying, according to live tracking data from Flight Radar 24.
Ten days ago, there were 1,237 flights made using Boeing 737 MAX. Today there are just 22 aircraft airborne, Flight Radar 24 said.
Boeing 737 MAX stats
Day: MAX flights tracked
March 03: 1237
March 04: 1251
March 05: 1220
March 06: 1251
March 07: 1256
March 08: 1313
March 09: 1252
March 10: 1257
March 11: 950
March 12: 718
March 13: 111 (until 09:30 UTC)
Currently there are 22 737 MAX aircraft airborne. pic.twitter.com/Mlz5vqAxWg— Flightradar24 (@flightradar24)March 13, 2019