Norwegian Air feeling more positive on Boeing MAX 10, CEO says

OSLO (Reuters) – Norwegian Air may consider adding Boeing’s MAX 10 model to its fleet, CEO Geir Karlsen said on Thursday, after finding the plane’s flight range was better-suited to the airline than initially thought.

“We were kind of negative towards the MAX 10 back six months ago, partly because of the range these aircraft can fly in the network we are flying,” Karlsen said.

“Based on new information we have received, that has changed to some extent so we are actually evaluating right now whether we should bring MAX 10 into our fleet.”

The Boeing Max 10 was launched at the Paris Air Show in 2017, but has not yet entered into commercial operation.

Boeing has said it expects the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)to begin flight testing certification for the MAX 10 this year, and the first delivery is currently expected in 2024.

The MAX 10 is the largest of Boeing’s best-selling single aisle airplane family.

Norwegian entered a deal to buy 50 Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft in May last year, and also secured options for a further 30 of the planes at an undisclosed price.

In a Norwegian Air configuration, the Boeing MAX 10 would have 225 seats compared to the 189 seats for a Norwegian-configured MAX 8.

“The seat cost would obviously go down, also of course depending on the price of the aircraft,” Karlsen said.

The carrier’s 81-strong fleet currently consists of 16 Boeing MAX aircraft, and if Boeing’s delivery schedule holds it will have 34 of by the end of next year – a third of the total fleet.

(Reporting by Victoria Klesty; Editing by Sharon Singleton)