Low-cost transatlantic carrier Norwegian has made a number of changes to its fleet deployment following Europe’s grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft.
The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) issued an order grounding all Max 8s following a deadly crash involving a Max 8 operated by Ethiopian Airlines. The crash, which killed all 157 onboard, is the second such incident involving this aircraft type in recent months.
“EASA is continuously analysing the data as it becomes available,” the organization said in a statement announcing the decision to ground the aircraft. “The accident investigation is currently ongoing, and it is too early to draw any conclusions as to the cause of the accident.”
As a result of the order, Norwegian has made a number of changes to its operations to minimize potential flight disruptions. The carrier had had a total of 18 Max 8s in its fleet, with a total order of 110.
Norwegian says that it will temporarily operate a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft from New York Stewart International Airport (SWF) to Dublin Airport, which will allow it to provide service to affected customers scheduled to fly from either Providence’s T.F. Green Airport (PVD) in Rhode Island or Stewart to Dublin. Customers will be rebooked on flights operating the Dreamliner, and those booked on flights from T.F. Green Airport will be accommodated on buses from that airport to Stewart Airport. Affected customers will be informed via SMS and the airline’s website.
Authorities in China and India have also ordered the grounding of all Max 8s. In the United States, the Federal Aviation Administration has declined to ground the aircraft as the investigation into the crash moves forward.
“Thus far, our review shows no systemic performance issues and provides no basis to order grounding the aircraft,” the FAA said in its latest statement on the situation. “Nor have other civil aviation authorities 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.”
As a result, many U.S. carriers that fly the Max 8, including American Airlines and Southwest Airlines, report that they will continue to operate the aircraft.