European discount carrier Norwegian Air is seeking compensation from Boeing for its grounded fleet of 737 Max 8 jets.
Norwegian is the first airline to say publicly it will demand that Boeing pay for lost flight time. It is expected other airlines will follow suit.
Aviation authorities throughout Europe ordered the grounding of the jets Tuesday in the wake of Sunday's crash of a 737 Max 8 jet operated by Ethiopian Airlines that killed all on board. The United States and Canada followed suit Wednesday. The crash was the second deadly incident involving the 737 Max 8 plane in less than six months.
Norwegian has eighteen 737 Max 8 planes in its fleet, mostly for trans-Atlantic flights between Europe and the East Coast of the United States. The airline has ordered more than 100 of the 737 Max 8 planes.
"It is quite obvious we will not take the cost related to the new aircraft that we have to park temporarily," said Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos in a recorded message to customers. "We will send this bill to those who produce this aircraft."
Kjos apologized to customers affected by the grounding of the planes and said passengers would be taken care of by combining flights, reallocating aircraft and rebooking customers on other airlines. He said Norwegian lost just 1% of the airline's seat capacity because of the grounding, and he hoped the planes would be back in the air soon.
Aviation authorities in most of Europe as well as the United States, Australia, Indonesia, China and elsewhere have barred the planes from their airspace. A growing number of airlines have also announced they won't fly the planes until they know what happened in Sunday's fatal crash.
Boeing paid an undisclosed amount to airlines affected by a 2013 grounding of its 787 Dreamliner jets after some of the planes' batteries caught fire. It said the cost of that grounding was "minimal."