OSLO, NORWAY — Restructured low-cost airline Norwegian has taken a major step in expanding its fleet by signing a Letter of Intent with Air Lease Corporation (ALC) to lease six Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

This agreement comes in addition to the three 737 MAX 8 aircraft Norwegian has already agreed to lease from the American lessor, of which one was already delivered. The new planes are expected to join Norwegian's fleet ahead of summer 2023, ensuring that the company is well prepared to meet the high demand during the peak season.

"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 Geir Karlsen, CEO of Norwegian.

Boeing's 737 MAX 8 aircraft is a game changer for the aviation industry as it offers a significant boost in fuel efficiency, a boost of approximately 14 percent compared to previous models. Norwegian plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 45 percent by 2030.

The final agreement between the Nordic carrier and American lessor is still subject to certain closing conditions.

The year 2020 proved to be a challenging one for Norwegian, as the airline was hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company was forced to cancel a staggering 85% of its flights and lay off 7,300 workers. Tragically, on April 20, 2020, Norwegian officially declared bankruptcy.

On January 14, 2021, Norwegian announced its decision to end all long-haul services and focus on a reduced European route network. Further cuts were made on February 24, 2021, with the cancellation of orders for 53 Airbus A320neos and 30 Airbus A321LRs. Finally, on March 4, 2021, CFO Geir Karlsen confirmed that the airline would not resume operations with its Boeing 737 MAX aircraft and that the company was seeking to sell its 737 MAX fleet.

Following Norwegian's emergence from bankruptcy protection, the airline begun operations on Oct. 31st 2021 again. On Dec. 1st, the airline announced it would resume the operation of the Boeing 737 MAX 8, with two aircraft starting in 2022.