Norwegian To Lease Multiple Planes To Cover 737 MAX and 787 Problems

Norwegian Air has announced its summer aircraft lease schedule. While the HiFly A380 doesn’t make an appearance, a number of other well-known planes are in the schedule. The aircraft will enter service with Norwegian from today.

Wet leasing airlines are on the rise.
Norwegian is wet leasing a number of aircraft to cover the summer schedule for London Gatwick airport. Photo: Russell Lee/Evelop/Kamezukakofun via Wikimedia

Norwegian has been leasing a number of aircraft due to shortages in its fleet. While these shortages were originally due to grounded Boeing 787 aircraft, the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft has exacerbated the issue. As such, Norwegian has needed to lease three aircraft from different airlines.

What is wet leasing?

Leasing is when an airline hires an aircraft to supplement its operations. There are two types, of leasing, both wet and dry. When dry leasing an aircraft, the airline will operate the aircraft themselves. Effectively, they only pay for the aircraft with no added extras.

Wet leasing differs from dry leasing substantially. When wet leasing an aircraft, the leasing company is effectively operating the flight on behalf of the airline. This means that the airline pays a fee, and everything is handled on their behalf. As such, the wet lease includes fuel, cabin crew, and service.

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Norwegian Lease
A Wamos A330 will be leased by Norwegian. Photo: Russell Lee via Wikimedia

Norwegian’s leases

Norwegian is leasing four aircraft from different operators for the Gatwick Airport summer season. According to Routes Online, this will consist of two Airbus A330s, an Airbus A340, and a Boeing 777:

  • Firstly, an Airbus A330-200 will be leased from Wamos Air;
  • Secondly, an Airbus A330-300 will be leased from Evelop Airlines;
  • Thirdly, an Airbus A340-300 will be leased from HiFly;
  • Finally, A Boeing 777-200 will be leased from Privilege Style.

Each of the aircraft will begin joining Norwegian’s operations this week. The first will commence today (29th May 2019), with the last joining the Gatwick fleet on Friday, May 3rd.

Norwegian Lease
The Evelop A330 will also be leased by the airline. Photo: Evelop Airlines via Wikimedia

The routes

The Wamos Air A330 will be flying between London Gatwick and Denver. The three times per week service will commence on Tuesday, April 30th. It will also operate a three-time weekly service to Chicago commencing on May 1st.

The Evelop Airlines A330 will be flying to New York’s JFK six times a week from May 3rd.

The Privilege Style Boeing 777 will be flying Norwegian’s new Miami route six times a week from London Gatwick. This service will commence today.

Finally, the HiFly A340 will be operating between London Gatwick and Orlando, effective from today.

Norwegian Lease
The HiFly A340 will operate on flights to Orlando. Photo: Kamezukakofun via Wikimedia

Premium

Wamos Air’s A330 has an older interior in its aircraft, however, the premium seats are roughly similar to Norwegian’s in terms of pitch and recline. While the aircraft has had some bad press, there are a surprising number of good reviews.

Again, like the Wamos A330, HiFly’s A340 has a fairly similar business class interior, however, the seats almost lie flat. The airline highlights its plastic free meal service. The HiFly Business class service will likely be much better than Norwegian’s offer. It seats 24 in business class according to HiFly.

Two of Evelop’s A330s are in an economy only configuration. The aircraft which do have business class again have angled seats. It is unclear which Norwegian is using.

Are you booked to fly on one of these routes? Let us know in the comments!

22 comments
    1. All the aircraft types being leased are extremely safe and operated under EU regulations – you’ll be fine. As a matter of fact, if you were supposed to be on a Boeing 737 MAX 8, these are both a safety and comfort upgrade…!

  1. I have a flight booked from DUB-SWF, and Norwegian says they’re flying the Evelop! A330-300 in all Economy-configuration on that route. I know because I’ve already booked a seat and seen the seat map. That could be liable to change, but that would mean that it’s not flying the JFK route from Gatwick!

    1. My wife and i are booked to travel LGW to MCO 10/16/19 in premium so look forwards to Hi Fly being better than Norwegian though will miss the 787 low impact jet lag

  2. Flying to JFK on 4th May with Evelop. Norwegian assures me that the plane has premium economy seating in 2 – 2 – 2 configuration as well as economy. We’ll see I guess. Not particularly pleased about the change.

  3. the leased planes (especially the Airbus-es) are 100% better than the new Boeings. Passengers should feel much safer. The new generation is riddled with problems, and the single improvement would be fuel efficiency, which frankly I don’t care one bit about, considering this was achieved cutting MASSIVE corners on safety.

  4. Rebooked onto WAMOS A330-200 Chicago -> Gatwick. Because of the plane change, there is a seating change. We’re now in seats 5F and 5K, but it’s unclear if they are together (or across an aisle) and in they are in business class as we wish. The inexperienced Norwegian chat person couldn’t seem to answer this definitively. The only WAMOS seating plan I could find didn’t have seat numbers on it, and it looked like row 5 is the front of the main (non-business) cabin. Email to WAMOS has gone unanswered, but will keep trying. Please post here if you have seating info. Thanks.

    1. We are flying out of Chicago too and I had to call Norwegian today and request seating together. Took over an hour on hold to talk to someone. On the trip to Gatwick we are flying with Norwegian, it was the flight back that was changed to Wamos.

  5. I have a huge fear of flying and only picked Norwegian because of direct flights denver London the Paris Denver home..just reading all this now and want to just get new tickets on another airline. Are they offering refunds if ink e of the leased rented planes – ?

  6. I’m on a July flight from London Gatwick to Denver, that’s now showing up as this Wamos Air flight. Paid specifically to have seats together now the seats are listed in separate rows.

    That’s a bunch of crap

    1. My family and I fly out of O’hare to Gatwick and I had to call Norwegian today and request seating together. Took over an hour to talk to someone.

  7. I’ll be flying from Gatwick to Denver on June 1st. The airline hasn’t informed me yet that it will be with Wamos Air A330.
    May I expect troubles? May passengers be canceled due to reduced aircraft capacity compared to Boeing Max?

  8. I am flying out of Stewart tomorrow evening to Dublin and returning end of May. I will let you know how the flight is …

  9. Hi
    We got told yesterday our Sep flights out and back from Gatwick to Chicago will be with Wamos. I have spoken to Norwegia as we had premium seats booked and they say we have been sat in seats £E and £F but cant find a seating plan to know if these are upgraded seats and if they are sat together. Any advice on this gratefully received.

    The attitude of the staff was definitely not great as well when we were trying to get information. As a disabled traveler flights are difficult enough anyway with the added extra worry at the moment that my husband who helps as my carer wont be sat with me to help.

    1. Same here. We are flying out to Chicago in September. Found a seat plan by going through the motions of making a new booking, the seat plan came up before it got to the payment stage. Good luck. I am still trying for a refund, my confirmation clearly states Norwegian as the carrier and, to date, have had no official notice that Wamos are now operating the route. The CAA clearly state that the passenger must be told the carrier at point of sale.

  10. Notified yesterday the change of carrier to Privilege Style for our LGW-MIA I’m july. There’s no write up in this piece about the airline but the ratings on the internet do not look good so I’m not feeling positive.
    No in flight entertainment on a 9 1/2 hour flight.
    I don’t feel this is a “like for like” substitution.
    I certainly won’t be using Norwegian Air again and feel awful I recommended them to a friend who has also been transferred to a different carrier.

  11. I’m flying to Denver and it’s moved to Wamos Air. I am currently in a battle with Norwegian Airlines as this is not wha I booked back in January and I would never have booked it if it was stated back then.

    1. Ditto. Not getting anywhere at present. Thinking about contacting CAA to get their advice.
      Interested to know how you get on.

  12. Our Gatwick-Denver flight in August is now Wamos. As is my husband’s flight from Denver to London in July. Very upset as an anxious traveller with children. They changed our seats layout too, but I was able to fix it by going into my booking and change seats to more suitable ones. I don’t mind discomfort but very worried about safety. Norwegian won’t refund of course. Currently debating whether to just get a fresh booking through Icelandair, all others are too expensive.

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