Norwegian Air says Boeing dispute to be decided in U.S. court
DUBLIN (Reuters) - Norwegian Air expects the dispute with Boeing over the cancellation of orders for 97 aircraft to be resolved in U.S. legal proceedings rather than an Irish restructuring process, an airline lawyer said Friday.
Norwegian was protected from bankruptcy late last year in both Norway and Ireland, where most of its assets are registered, and aims to get out of the process in April with fewer planes and less debt.
On Friday, the airline informed the Irish court that it would reject three aircraft sales deals with Boeing.
However, a Norwegian attorney later made it clear to the court that a rejection would not prejudice or prejudice ongoing legal proceedings related to the contracts in the United States.
Norwegian unilaterally terminated its remaining orders with Boeing for 97 aircraft last year and sought compensation for grounding Boeing 737 MAX jets and technical problems with 787 Dreamliners.
"It is clearly not appropriate for this court to interfere in these proceedings or to anticipate them in any way," Declan Murphy, who represents Norwegians, told the court.
"We are not asking this court to exercise exorbitant jurisdiction to disrupt these proceedings," he said.
Judge Michael Quinn said he understood the denial motions were being made "out of caution" and "without prejudice to US litigation."
Boeing has refused to comment on the legal process but continues to display Norwegian orders on its published order book.
According to industry sources, this suggests Boeing is continuing to enforce its right in the contracts, in part to deter other airlines from pulling out of business amid the coronavirus crisis.
(Reporting by Conor Humphries and Tim Hepher; editing by David Evans, Kirsten Donovan)
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