Aircraft manufacturers Airbus and Boeing are preparing for the cancellation of major aircraft orders from Norwegian Air as part of restructuring procedures, according to industry sources.
Norwegian obtained bankruptcy protection last year in both Norway and Ireland, where most of its assets are registered, and intends to float with fewer aircraft and less debt, Reuters reported.
This week, the Irish High Court is hearing arguments regarding the repudiation of some of Norwegian’s liabilities, including aircraft leases.
“There is an ongoing hearing and we cannot comment until it is over,” a Norwegian spokesman said.
Norwegian has 88 A320 family aircraft on order from Airbus, according to the manufacturer.
The airline indicated last June that it had canceled orders for 97 Boeing aircraft and would claim compensation for the 737 MAX grounding and 787 Dreamliner engine problems.
However, orders for 5 Dreamliners and 92 MAXs are still posted on Boeing’s website, indicating that the U.S. aircraft manufacturer has so far asserted its rights to the contract.
Pressure on the aircraft order book is mounting as the pandemic drags on for a second year.
Meanwhile, Airbus is engaged in tough negotiations with another major low-cost carrier, Malaysia’s AirAsia.
Several sources said the discussions centered on whether AirAsia, one of Airbus’ biggest customers with some 400 aircraft ordered across the group, could not only delay deliveries but also get a partial refund of deposits, which is considered an unusual move.
Reporting by Tim Hepher, Victoria Klesty, Conor Humphries and Liz Lee. Editing by Mark Potter.