AVIATION LAW NEWS: Largest Aircraft Order by Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA


In what is considered to be one of the largest aircraft purchase ever, on Friday 9 June, 2012, it was announced that low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA has concluded a multimillion Euro contract with Blagnac (France) based Airbus SAS which has more than 54,000 employees in four EU Members States, for an order of a hundred (100) aircraft of the Airbus A320neo class. The new aircraft will feature a single class cabin layout as is normal with low-cost flights, seating approximately one hundred and eighty (180) passengers.

John Leahy, Airbus ASA‘s Chief Operating Officer remarked “We are very pleased to welcome Norwegian as an all-new Airbus customer. The A320neo sets new industry standards for eco-efficiency and passenger appeal. Norwegian will become among the first airlines in Scandinavia to benefit from the A320neo’s increased capabilities, including a 15 percent reduction in fuel burn and emissions.

The order of the one hundred (100) aircraft from Airbus SAS by the Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA follows the announcement earlier this year in January of another order by this low-cost aviation company for another two hundred and twenty two (222) narrow-body aircraft, they being one hundred (100) of Boeing’s new 737 MAX8, another one hundred (100) of Airbus’s A320neo and twenty two (22) Boeing 787-800s to be able to provide its passengers with routes from the Scandinavian capitals to long-haul destinations such as New York and Bangkok.

Although it is a low-cost airline, Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA is deemed to be the second-largest airline in Scandinavia and one of the largest in Europe, providing high-frequency domestic flights both within Scandinavia and to various international destinations. In 2011, it carried some 15.7 million passengers with its fleet of sixty three (63) Boeing 737s, having made an exceptional turnover of more than NOK 10.5 billion.

Indeed, it is a success story for Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA which was founded on 22 January, 1993.

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA‘s CEO Bjørn Kjos is said to have commented “We are very pleased to be an Airbus customer … This order gives us an opportunity to secure and invest in the company’s future. Brand new, fuel-efficient aircraft are necessary for us to continue to grow. From an environmental perspective, we know that Airbus is continuously working on measures to reduce emissions, making new aircraft a win-win for both the environment, our passengers and for us as a company.

In the aviation sector, Tanti-Dougall & Associates, Advocates provides its professional services in connection with aircraft registration, dry and/or wet lease agreements, aircraft financing and advice on tax applicability as well as on Health & Safety and aircraft security issues, including Airport Safety & Security and Airport Emergency Plan in line with the International Civil Aviation Orgnaisation (ICAO) and relative European regulations. Indeed, Tanti-Dougall & Associates, Advocates’s team includes an IATA Diploma graduate on Aviation Law.

With the advent of the Aircraft Registration Act on October 1st, 2010, Malta has proved to be a highly competitive jurisdiction for aircraft registration, and indeed, the number of aircraft registrations has since then increased considerably given especially the favourable tax regime applicable.