Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA (OSE: NAS), trading as Norwegian, is the third largest low-cost carrier in Europe, the second-largest airline in Scandinavia, and the ninth-largest airline in Europe in terms of passenger numbers. It offers a high-frequency domestic flight schedule within Scandinavia and to business destinations such as London, as well as to holiday destinations in the Mediterranean and the Canary Islands, transporting 20.7 million people in 2013.
As of August 2014, Norwegian operates 98 aircraft of which 90 are Boeing 737s and 7 are Boeing 787 Dreamliners, and is known for its distinctive livery of white with a red nose, with individual portraits of noteworthy Scandinavians on the tail fin. The airline has bases at Oslo (OSL), Copenhagen (CPH), Stockholm (ARN), Helsinki (HEL), London (LGW), Málaga (AGP), Las Palmas (LPA), Alicante (ALC), Bergen (BGO), Trondheim (TRD), Stavanger (SVG), Barcelona (BCN), Tenerife (TFS) and Madrid (MAD).
Norwegian launched its long-haul operation in May 2013. In line with the majority of Norwegian’s operations also the long-haul flights are operated by two fully owned subsidiaries. Norwegian Long Haul is a legally separate entity with two unique AOC but shares branding and commercial set up with the rest of the Group. A crew base for long haul is established at Bangkok (BKK).
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner is a long-range, mid-size wide-body, twin-engine jet airliner developed by Boeing Commercial Airplanes. Its variants seat 242 to 335 passengers in typical 3-class seating configurations. It is Boeing’s most fuel-efficient airliner and the world’s first major airliner to use composite materials as the primary material in the construction of its airframe. The 787 has been designed to be 20% more fuel efficient than the 767 it is to replace. The 787 Dreamliner’s distinguishing features include mostly electrical flight systems, a four-panel windshield, noise-reducing chevrons on its engine nacelles, and a smoother nose contour. It shares a common type rating with the larger Boeing 777, allowing qualified pilots to operate both models, due to related design features.
The aircraft’s initial designation was the 7E7, prior to its renaming in January 2005. The first 787 was unveiled in a roll-out ceremony on July 8, 2007 at Boeing’s Everett assembly factory, by which time the aircraft had 677 on order; this is more orders from launch to roll-out than any previous wide-body airliner. By November 2014, the 787 program had logged 1,055 orders from 58 customers, with All Nippon Airways having the largest number on order.
Development and production of the 787 has involved a large-scale collaboration with numerous suppliers worldwide. Final assembly is at the Boeing Everett Factory in Everett, Washington. Assembly is also taking place at the Boeing South Carolina factory in North Charleston, South Carolina. Both sites will deliver 787s to airline customers. Originally planned to enter service in May 2008, the project has experienced multiple delays. The airliner’s maiden flight took place on December 15, 2009, and completed flight testing in mid-2011. Final Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) type certification was received in August 2011 and the first 787-8 model was delivered in September 2011. It entered commercial service on October 26, 2011 with launch customer All Nippon Airways. The stretched 787-9 variant, which is 20 feet (6.1 m) longer and can fly 450 nmi farther than the -8, first flew in September 2013. Deliveries of the 787-9 began in July 2014; it entered commercial service on August 7, 2014 with All Nippon Airways, with 787-9 launch customer Air New Zealand following two days later.
The aircraft has suffered from several in-service problems, notably fires on board related to its lithium-ion batteries. These systems were reviewed by both the FAA and the Japanese aviation agency. On January 16, 2013, the FAA issued an emergency airworthiness directive that grounded all 787s in the United States. The EASA, Japanese Transport Ministry, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), and Chile’s Dirección General de Aeronautica Civil (DGAC) followed suit and grounded the Dreamliners in their jurisdictions. After Boeing completed tests on a revised battery design, the FAA approved the revised design on April 19, 2013, and lifted the grounding on April 26, 2013. The 787 returned to passenger service on April 27, 2013, with Ethiopian Airlines.