Some were surprised that Norwegian also ordered planes from Airbus, because fleet commonality is seen as a key factor when it comes to keeping costs down. But, by playing Boeing and Airbus up against each other, Norwegian was able to get a very good deal from both. From Airbus, Norwegian will get the A320 NEO when this model is ready for the market.
|(Picture borrowed from http://www.airsalvage.co.uk/.)|
From the start with Boeing 737's in 2002, Norwegian has grown to be one of the biggest airlines in Europe, and they have one of the biggest fleets of Boeing 737 around. Their charismatic CEO Bjorn Kjos also have ambitions when it comes to lang haul flying, so Norwegian has ordered 5 Dreamliners to be delivered in 2013. For starters, routes to New York and Bangkok has been planned.
The very beginning of this successful airline in 1993, was small scale. With only a few Fokker 50's they operated routes in Western Norway for Braathens SAFE, once a big competitor to Scandinavian Airlines (SAS). In 2002 Braathens was bought by SAS, and this made the start for the fierce competition between Norwegian and SAS ever since. It has been marvelous to follow Norwegians growth, and we look forward to see the Dreamliner in Norwegian's rather odd livery.
The Dreamliner is the latest technology and will be seen in the skies for 20-30 years (maybe more) from its delivery. Above I have included a picture that will set some perspective to the development in aviation technology. The work horse of early Norwegian (then Norwegian Air Shuttle), the Fokker 50. A sad ending for a excellent airplane of its time...