Last week was a bad one for the long-haul division of Norwegian.
No fewer than three of the Scandinavian budget carrier’s US flights to/from London Gatwick suffered delays of more than 40 hours, according to a tweet on July 27 from @Flightradar24.
But what British passengers have experienced very recently is what Scandinavians have experienced for many months as Norwegian Air has been flying long-haul from Scandinavia for much longer than it has from the UK.
As reported by Business Traveller last year, Norwegian faced unpredented technical problems with its fleet of advanced Boeing 787 Dreamliners (see news, September 29).
Norwegian utilises its fleet of B787s intensively and there is little back-up should things go wrong. The airline refuses to compensate passengers in the majority of cases because it says it is not liable for delays caused by technical issues.
It is true that the airline promises to charter in aircraft from other airlines when its B787s go “technical”. But delays still occur because charter planes may not be immediately available, especially in the summer months of high demand.
Now it would seem that enough is enough.
According to Norway’s newsinenglish.no, a Swedish attorney claims that no fewer than 35,000 passengers have been affected by Norwegian’s long-haul flight delays. It is believed most are passengers booked to/from Scandinavia as the UK routes have operated for just a few weeks.
Stephan Eriksson, of law firm Liman and Partners, is taking legal action on behalf of some of these passengers. The first of ten “cases in principle” will be launched in Stockholm next month.
Eriksson told newspaper Aftenposten: “No airline we’ve had anything to do with has treated its passengers so badly as Norwegian. We actually have had better experience with the much-criticised Ryanair.”