Unluckiest Airline Ever? Norwegian Air Has Had Non Stop Problems With Boeing Aircraft

Norwegian Air hasn’t had an awful lot of luck lately. The airline operates a fleet of Boeing 787 and Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. As such, there have been a number of problems with Boeing aircraft as of late which have seen their aircraft stuck on the ground.

Having aircraft sitting on the ground is not good, especially for Norwegian. When aircraft are sitting on the ground, they are not making money. While this is never good, it is doubly so for Norwegian as the airline is coping with its own financial issues. Indeed, earlier this week the airline demanded that Boeing pay it compensation for the grounding of its 737 MAX aircraft.

Norwegian Problems
All of Norwegian’s Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are currently grounded. Photo: Norwegian

787 Problems

Norwegian’s unlucky streak began back in 2018. Regular Simple Flying readers may remember that Norwegian was, for a couple of weeks, wet-leasing the HiFly Airbus A380. The reason was that a number of their Boeing 787 were stuck on the ground following the Trent 1000 engine issues.


Following this issue, Norwegian agreed on compensation from Boeing for the issues that grounded a number of their Dreamliner aircraft. At the time, Norwegian said that this action would start having a positive effect from Q1 of 2019. However, the story doesn’t stop there…

Norwegian Problems
Problems began with the 787 Dreamliner last year. Photo: Norwegian

1st 737 MAX Problem

Norwegian has had two major problems with the Boeing 737 MAX this year. The first actually started on 14th of December when LN-BKE was flying from Dubai bound for Oslo. Unfortunately, the aircraft developed engine issues shortly after takeoff. As such, the pilots opted to divert to the nearest airport, which happened to be Shiraz in Iran.

Unfortunately, while the crew and passengers were picked up by a replacement aircraft the next day, the aircraft itself wasn’t so lucky. Due to a mix of the US Government shutdown, and sanctions against Iran, it was difficult to get replacement parts and technicians to Shiraz. The aircraft finally left Iran on 22nd February.

Norwegian Problems
For the time being, Norwegian’s fleet of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft are grounded. Photo: Norwegian

737 MAX Now Grounded

The Boeing 737 MAX issues are continuing for Norwegian, with the whole fleet grounded by Boeing. The action comes after a number of countries and airlines banned their fleets from flying in the wake of the Ethiopian Airlines tragedy earlier in the week.

As a result of the aircraft being grounded, the airline is either having to operate replacement aircraft on the Boeing 737 MAX routes or reroute passengers. This action is being financed by Norwegian at the present moment in time. For example, a quick browse of flight schedules shows that Flight 1601, which is usually operated by a Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, was cancelled on the 13th and 15th of this month. With no set date for the Boeing 737 MAX’s return to service, Norwegian could be in for a long ride.

How do you think Norwegian will cope without the Boeing 737 MAX? Let us know in the comments down below!


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Michael Teigen

Where is Sonja Henie when Norwegian needs her!

viktor m

Well, i guess that’s why conventional (non-low-cost) carriers diversify, flying different plane types and makers. Flying one type is sure cheaper, but once something goes wrong… you’re in a heap of trouble.


Especially when we are talking about recent ones, where things still need to be adjusted, and major faults with a potential of crash…
Taking not as recent planes in order or order to the competitor are the only 2 ways to diversify.
The low cost carriers are kind of gambling everytime a new aircraft arrives in the fleet with a high delivery rate.

Noah Bowie

With Bjorn Kise stepping down as chairman later this year and with this being another major hit to Norwegian’s finances, I wouldn’t be surprised to see IAG make another offer for Norwegian as the main reason why the offer was blocked in the first was the outgoing chairman’s stubbornness


any European carrier that does not go with Airbus Airplane is their own fault..
After the dreamliner problems why ordering the 737 Junk ? Same for Polish Airline LOT did the same stupid decisions..


Norwegian ordered 737-MAX in 2012, the Dreamliner problems happend in 2018

Kenneth Riley

With their existing financial difficulties, I firmly believe they will follow the recent string of failures and go bust! Sad, but inevitable unless they receive a huge compensation package from Boeing.

R. Maloney

Really….Boeing, junk?


I understand this discussion is without pertinent info because all the useful info is connected to ongoing investigations. Without this info I can only say Boing should look harder into itself but its competitors might also have a tooth into this. All of a sudden, an old plane starts to have problems; various! The Chinese have a problem with GPS, a short time after installing their own Baidu. The Norwegian plane might be the only real issue but haven’t other info It is impossible to be certain of anything.


Why did Norwegian choose the Trent engines instead of the GE engines for their 787’s ?


because they were supposedly more fuel efficient, which obviously trumps reliability and cracked fan blades!

Mike Teleborian

There’s no such thing as unlucky. Well, it is sometimes, but in this case (and many others), it simply boils down to the following: buy cheap Boeing quality and you’ll constantly have issues, or your planes fall randomly from the sky, or grounded and have to cancel hundreds of your flights – which ends up into a very expensive option long term; or, invest more short term into quality Airbus, with better ROI long term.

Xavi Rayuela

I have flown Norwegian long-haul to Europe. The cabin crew is from hunger: incompetent, rude, tripping over their own feet. While you’re on a long flight – with their crappy food – they are trying to nickle-and-dime you for a glass of water. And the fleet is unsafe with substandard Boeing equipment? What a joy it is to get off a Norwegian flight. Nobody likes the experience and everyone is complaining. And now they’re going bankrupt? It was not nice while it lasted…