Norwegian (DY, Oslo Gardermoen) has signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Air Lease Corporation (ALC) to lease six B737-8s, in addition to three of the same type it has already agreed to take from the lessor, of which one was recently delivered to the carrier. The six aircraft were previously operated by Flyr (Norway), which filed for bankruptcy a week ago.

The final agreement with ALC is subject to certain closing conditions, but all six aircraft “are to be delivered in a short time to Norwegian, in good time ahead of the summer 2023 season,” the airline said in a statement on February 6.

“The addition of these modern and fuel-efficient aircraft fits well with our fleet strategy. It will also help counteract delays from Boeing for other aircraft that were due to be delivered to Norwegian this spring,” said Norwegian CEO Geir Karlsen.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, before its demise Flyr operated a fleet six B737-8s, all of which ALC dry-leased to it and are currently stored at Oslo Gardermoen. It also operated six B737-800s. Norwegian confirmed to ch-aviation in an email that the six -8s it will lease from ALC are ex-Flyr.

Norwegian has spearheaded an ambitious fleet ramp-up programme since its near-demise two years ago and said last month that it was “very likely” to exercise its options for thirty additional B737 MAX jets with delivery between 2028 and 2031. By this summer it aims to increase its fleet to around 85 aircraft.

Also on February 6, Norwegian released its traffic figures for January, saying it operated an average of 62 aircraft during the month. The company “headed into the new year with a strong sales campaign” and saw 1.13 million passengers and a load factor of 78% in what is typically the quietest travel month of the year.

“We see that the positive booking trend continues,” Karlsen commented, adding that this year’s summer programme comprises 300 routes to 114 destinations.

He continued: “The past week has been very particular for the Nordic aviation sector, marked by Flyr’s bankruptcy. I strongly sympathise with the employees, customers, and others affected by the situation. We would like to make sure stranded passengers reach their destinations, provided we have free seats available. We also invite employees that have been affected by the bankruptcy to apply to job vacancies at Norwegian.”