Boeing executive meets with Norwegian Air over 787

The Seattle TimesSeptember 26, 2013 

Boeing Commercial Airplanes chief Ray Conner traveled to Norway and promised Wednesday better support for Norwegian Air’s fleet of 787 Dreamliners following a series of reliability issues that repeatedly grounded flights this month.

Conner met with Norwegian Air’s Chief Executive Bjorn Kjos in Oslo in an effort to smooth relations with the airline, which has been vocal about its dissatisfaction.

On the same day, LOT, the flag carrier of Poland, said it had to temporarily ground its fleet of five Dreamliners after inspections revealed fuel filters missing from the Rolls-Royce engines on two of its aircraft.

After the meeting in Oslo, Reuters reported that Norwegian’s Kjos called it “a positive discussion.”

“They agreed to put up spare part stocks at destinations we fly to,” Kjos told Reuters. “And they’ll send a dedicated team of experts to Norwegian so if there’s a problem popping up, they can immediately solve it.”

The airline is concerned about the overall reliability of the 787, Norwegian Air fleet director Tore Jenssen said in advance of the meeting with Boeing.

“If you look at the other 787 customers, most of them have technical problems, too,” Jenssen said. “It’s a performance reliability problem and a quality issue from Boeing.”

Boeing spokesman Doug Alder declined to give details of the Oslo meeting or the problems Norwegian experienced with the 787, saying customer discussions are private. “We can say that how the 787 performs in service for our customers is paramount. … Any impact to our customers’ operations is not satisfactory,” Alder added.

Norwegian’s newly established long-haul 787 flights to New York and Bangkok were disrupted throughout September by three apparently unrelated component failures.

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