An aircraft of type Boeing 737MAX-8 of the Scandinavian airline Norwegian, was yesterday (Tuesday 11 June) refused to use the German airspace.
After the two fatal crashes of the Boeing 737MAX, the type is still grounded worldwide. Boeing has taken additional parking capacity into use to store the aircraft that are still to be delivered and ready for use. All airlines using the aircraft are obliged to keep it on the ground. This has forced different airlines to store their aircraft at different airports. It is, of course, easier for them to have their aircraft at their home airport. That’s why it is permitted to carry out ferry flights. These are flights without passengers on board to retrieve the aircraft.
Many airlines have already undertaken several ferry flights and so did Norwegian. It moved its aircraft, which had been in Malaga for months, to Stockholm airport. There it is stored again until it is safe to carry out passenger flights.
About half way through the flight the pilots had to ask permission to fly into German airspace. Before departure it was not expected that Germany would not allow 737MAX in its airspace. The aircraft was put in a holding by the French air traffic control in anticipation of what was going to happen. Eventually the aircraft left for Vatry Airport, near Reims. There it is now grounded. Norwegian hasn’t let us know yet if they will fly over the 737 to Stockholm.
Norwegian has a fleet of no less than 18 737MAX-8. Because these are kept on the ground, it loses a lot of income and has to rent planes from other companies. This is a pretty heavy blow for the Scandinavian company. It writes red numbers again, forced to sell planes and close bases. In addition, they also distributed new shares at the beginning of this year in order to get fresh capital.
Many other companies are of course hoping for compensation from the American aircraft manufacturer. Air China, China Southern Airlines and Eastern Airlines, among others, are joining forces to put pressure on each other. Turkish Airlines, United Airlines, Ryanair and Flydubai have already asked for this. Ryanair has already negotiated with Boeing. Although the Irish budget company does not own any 737MAX, it would receive a discount on money that Boeing still owes to the low-cost airline.