Norwegian will be flying only narrowbody aircraft for the foreseeable future. But that wasn’t always the case. For several years, the airline’s fleet of 37 Dreamliners formed the backbone of its international operations. But where are they now?
Norwegian first took delivery of a Dreamliner in August 2013, according to ch-aviaiton.com. EI-LNB was originally ordered by ILFC, and leased to Norwegian Long Haul, as that branch was known at the time. After Long Haul merged with the main Norwegian in 2015, the aircraft was re-registered LN-LNB, and was operated by the airline for a total of six years before being withdrawn from use in September 2019.
The 787-8 has been stored at Glasgow Prestwick since then, and ownership has transferred to DP Aircraft Limited, a Guernsey registered company. The same company also has another ex-Norwegian 787-8 (LNA) as well as two Dreamliners from Thai Airways. The company’s website states that the aircraft are still on lease to Norwegian, but in July 2021, the registration of one changed to VP-CVM, suggesting the ties to Norwegian have been permanently cut.
All in, Norwegian took delivery of eight 787-8 between 2013 and 2015. So far, not one has found a new operational home. The two mentioned above are now with DP Aircraft, two more have been transferred back to their lessor, AerCap, and the other four are stored. According to ch-aviation, one is at Prestwick, one at Shannon, one at Oslo Gardermoen, and one at Stockholm Arlanda. All four are owned by Arctic Aviation Assets, an Irish-registered subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle.
The 28 larger Dreamliners began arriving in late 2016, with LN-LNL the first delivered to the carrier. 2017 saw another four arrive, with the bulk following in 2018. In March 2018, Norwegian took delivery of no less than four 787-9s, with at least one aircraft delivered every month for the rest of the year. The final seven arrived in 2019.
But as fast as the Dreamliners arrived, they were just as rapidly withdrawn from use. November 2019 saw three withdrawn from the fleet, including that first arrival – LNL – as the carrier attempted to curb its losses. But March 2020 saw the airline taking a double hit, as the impacts of COVID started to manifest, and all flying ceased.
Surprisingly, many of the 787-9s have already found new homes. Although some are in the possession of lessors including MG Aviation, AerCap, BOC Aviation and Arctic Aviation Assets, some are soon to arrive with eager new owners.
According to ch-aviation, at least 11 of Norwegian’s former 787-9s are headed to the new low-cost, long-haul startup known as Norse Atlantic. Following in the footsteps of its predecessor, the new airline anticipates connecting Scandinavia with North America, and plans a fleet of entirely widebody aircraft.
Just as interesting, however, are the four 787-9s set to go even further away. G-CKWF, LN-LNN, SE-RXZ and G-CKWC are all headed to South America to join the fleet of LATAM. LATAM has previously indicated that it will take five ex-Norwegian Dreamliners, so this list is likely to grow by one more.
Do you miss Norwegian’s Dreamliners?