Norwegian’s 787s “going better and better”

Bjorn Kjos, chief executive of an airline that had a nightmare experience with its first two 787s last year, could now moonlight as a salesman for the Dreamliner.

Norwegian Air, his new international low-cost carrier, now has a fleet of seven Dreamliners that he’s flying on very long routes such as London to Bangkok and back. With minimal down time at each end, that’s up to 18 hours flying in a day.

“The Dreamliner is the first airplane built to fly such high utilization. It’s performing to it,” said Kjos. “It’s going better and better actually.”

Kjos is a former Norwegian Air Force fighter pilot, who patrolled his country’s air space during the Cold War, intercepting Russian jets in a Lockheed F-104 Starfighter.

After eight years in the military, he got a law degree and later fell into running a small regional airline “more or less by accident,” he said.

Today, Norwegian Air is a very successful low-cost carrier flying all around Europe. It’s long-haul unit, Norwegian Air International, is pioneering the use of the 787 to do for international travel what Southwest Airlines did for U.S. domestic air travel with the 737.

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