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Boeing delays Norwegian's first 737 Max Plane a second time

Boeing Co is delaying the delivery of Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA's first 737 Max jet - again.

[CHICAGO] Boeing Co is delaying the delivery of Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA's first 737 Max jet - again.

The upgraded single-aisle plane will now arrive at the end of June, the discount carrier said in an emailed statement Friday. The delay is the second in about a month for Norwegian, which initially planned to receive its first 737 Max at the end of May before being forced to reschedule for June 13.

Boeing is looking to step up shipments of the fastest-selling plane in company history after briefly suspending flights last month because of a potential manufacturing fault in the plane's engines. Norwegian has been discussing "appropriate" compensation with Boeing over the delay, Thomas Ramdahl, the airline's chief commercial officer, said this week.

The carrier referred questions about the delay to Boeing. In an emailed statement, the Chicago-based planemaker attributed the decision to a "a minor technical issue" without providing details. The engines are made by CFM International, a venture of General Electric Co and Safran SA.

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Norwegian has already planned to begin new trans-Atlantic service from Edinburgh to the US with a 737-800 limited to 150 passengers. The delay likely means Norwegian will fly the older 737 on the route longer. Norwegian is the European launch customer for the 737 Max, with 108 orders.

Boeing delivered the first of the upgraded 737 to Lion Mentari Airlines PT's Malaysian unit, Malindo Airways, on May 17, followed by a second shortly after. Lion is the largest 737 Max customer, with 201 orders, one more than Southwest Airlines Co, which plans to begin flying the plane in October.

The planemaker rose 1.6 per cent to US$190.23 at the close in New York, the second-biggest advance on the 30-member Dow Jones Industrial Average.