“We expect Boeing to take this bill,” Norwegian Air said in an emailed statement.
The Oslo-based airline has 18 ‘MAX’ passenger jets in its 163-aircraft fleet.
European regulators on Tuesday grounded the aircraft following Sunday’s crash of a similar plane in Ethiopia, which killed 157 people and was the second crash involving that type of plane since October.
Boeing Chief Executive, Dennis Muilenburg, told employees on Monday that he was confident in the safety of the 737 MAX in an email to employees.
Industry sources, however, said the planemaker faces big claims after the crash.
Norwegian has bet heavily on the ‘MAX’ to become its aircraft of choice for short and medium-range flights in coming years as the low-cost carrier seeks to boost its fuel efficiency and thus cut the cost of flying.
The airline was maintaining its order for more aircraft of the same type from Boeing, spokesman, Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen, said.
Norwegian is expected to take delivery of dozens more of the ‘MAX’ in coming years, raising the overall number to more than 70 by year-end 2021, according to recent company announcements.
Norwegian cancelled some flights on Tuesday and on Wednesday, it canceled at least three dozen departures, its website showed most of which were due to fly from airports in Oslo, Stockholm and other Nordic cities.
The company said it aimed to minimise the impact on passengers by booking them on to other flights and utilising other types of planes from its fleet to help fill the gaps.
“We are able to accommodate most intra-European passengers by these efforts but are still working on other options for our passengers travelling between Ireland and the U.S.,” Norwegian said.
Similarly, more countries have joined the ranks grounding Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft amid mounting safety concerns after the second crash of the same model in less than five months.
After assessing information related to operations of 737 Max, “to ensure flight safety,” Vietnam decided to close its air space to 737 Max on Wednesday, Vietnam’s Civil Aviation Authority announced on its website.
Oman “is temporarily suspending operations of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft into and out of all Omani airports until further notice,” the country’s Public Authority for Civil Aviation tweeted on Tuesday.
Due to the grounding, the national airline Oman Air said on its website that it will cancel a number of flights on March 12 to March 19.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), another key market for aircraft on the Arabian Peninsula, also banned the operation of all 737 Max 8 models “to ensure the safety of the UAE’s civil aviation industry and the public,” Emirates News Agency said on Tuesday.
Roughly two-thirds of the 737 MAX 8 aircraft in the world have been pulled from use by airlines and aviation regulators, according to a The New York Times article on Tuesday.
In October 2018, a Lion Air plane, also a 737 MAX 8, crashed into the sea off the Indonesian capital Jakarta, killing all 189 people on board.
In spite the two crashes, Boeing said in a statement on Tuesday that it had “full confidence in the safety of the 737 MAX,” adding that “safety is Boeing’s number one priority.”
On the same day it ruled out any new guidance for 737 Max operators, though concerns of some customers and air carriers spread.
The aerospace company has the backing of U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which on Tuesday said it saw “no basis” to ground Boeing 737 Max planes.
Largest ever agreement with Norwegian Church Aid to fight Poverty
Norwegian Church Aid has signed an agreement of record size with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation. The agreement provides a total of NOK 1.75 billion over five years to support Norwegian Church Aid’s sustainable development work in sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world.
‘Norwegian Church Aid has achieved excellent results. Many of its partners are faith-based actors who have an especially important role to play now as the coronavirus crisis threatens people in developing countries. Norwegian Church Aid specialises in water, sanitation and hygiene, and we know access to water and improved hygiene will be crucial in this situation – not least for marginalised and vulnerable groups,’ said Minister of International Development Dag-Inge Ulstein.
The NOK 350 million in annual support from the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad) will mainly go towards the organisation’s efforts in 17 countries, but will also be put to work through global ecumenical cooperation. The funding comes from different parts of the assistance budget, and three quarters of it will be directed towards sub-Saharan Africa. The new agreement includes a 12 per cent increase in efforts to strengthen civil society.
‘We know how important an active civil society is for development in any country. Norwegian Church Aid’s work in support of sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa is of great importance. The organisation’s cooperation with strong local partners also enables them better to face the coronavirus crisis,’ said Mr Ulstein.
In order for Norwegian Church Aid and other organisations to be able to intensify vital activities, they now have the opportunity to rearrange significant parts of the budget in existing agreements without prior approval from Norad.
German cruise ship cleared to leave Norwegian port after virus scare
A German cruise ship has been allowed to depart from a port in south-western Norway after test results for two passengers showed they were not infected with the new coronavirus, Norwegian officials said on Tuesday.
Ole Bernt Thorbjornsen of the city of Haugesund said the two passengers would leave the Aida Aura, which carried about 1,200 passengers, the two were welcome to stay as long as they wish in the city.
The ship had been scheduled to leave Haugesund on Monday, but the departure was delayed pending the test results.
The ship left Hamburg on February 29 for a cruise along the Norway coast.
Edited By: Halima Sheji/Felix Ajide
Clean-up: Norwegian envoy appeals against re-pollution of Ogoniland
NNN: The Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria, Jens-Petter Kjemprud, on Monday appealed to oil companies and illegal oil bunkers against re-pollution of oil impacted Ogoniland currently undergoing remediation.
Kjemprud made the appeal while inspecting progress of work at ‘less complex sites’ in Alode community, Eleme local government area in Rivers.
The envoy also called on the Federal Government to take actionable steps to ensure that Ogoniland communities were not re-polluted by operators of artisanal oil refiners operating in the area.
“We are here on the sites to encourage the contractors to deliver their service, according to specifications, so that the land can be re-mediated.
“We are happy on the development, and that many contractors are at different stages of work trusting in the reports we get of the pollution and clean-up process.
Kjemprud said the Norwegian Government was worried that re-pollution of the Ogoni environment would make the clean-up project futile.
“So, now that work is ongoing on the land (less complex sites), we expect that when work begins on water-based polluted areas (complex sites) that all sources of re-pollution must stop.
“The Federal Government should hold oil companies and anyone engaged in sabotage of oil pipelines responsible for undermining this process,” he said.
He expressed confidence that the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) would deliver on its mandate, advising HYPREP and contractors handling the project to speed up work.
According to him, the Norwegian Government was the biggest contributor to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
Dr Marvin Dekil, Project Coordinator of HYPREP, under the Federal Ministry of Environment said the Federal Government was fully committed to the Ogoniland clean exercise.
He said of 80 per cent of contractors on the sites that 30 per cent of them have achieved the expected target while others recorded 40 to 50 per cent milestone.
“Our projection is that within few months, most of the contractors would have progressed to 70 per cent, and thereafter, progress to the final phase.
“So, we are hopeful that within this year that we will have the first set of contractors out of site.
“HYPREP is carrying out a remediation process that is in line with international best practices and constantly monitored by UNEP,” he added.
Dekil, who commended Ogoni people for their peaceful conduct, cautioned against artisanal refining in the area that was capable of derailing the one billion US dollar project.
He also debunked allegations of misappropriation of funds, saying that diversion was impossible due to several local and foreign stakeholders involved in project.
Nigeria News Agency reports that Ogoniland comprises of four local government areas in Rivers, including Eleme, Gokana, Khana and Tai.
Edited By: Ekemini Ladejobi
10 years of Norwegian support to the Sauti za Busara festival and promotion of women in music
Four energetic evenings of live music performances on three stages in the historical Ngome Kongwe (Old Fort) in Zanzibar, have been completed. Featuring a wide selection of performances by artist from different parts of the African continent, the 17th edition of the Sauti za Busara festival has yet again showed the world how musical expressions can unite people.
2020 also marks 10 years of Norwegian support to the organization behind the festival, Busara Promotions. The Norwegian Ambassador to Tanzania, H.E. Ms Elisabeth Jacobsen, attended the festival for the second time. At the press conference before the festival, she emphasized that Sauti za Busara is an important platform for freedom of expression and promotion of cultural diversity, whilst nourishing expertise, quality and professionalism in Tanzanian’s cultural sector. Moreover, through her speech the Ambassador accentuated that this year’s festival theme was of very high importance:
“…Sauti za Busara is of importance for the women in music. Every year you are making sure that women lead bands are given a platform. You are also facilitating fruitful discussions among women music sector professionals, and you use the power of the festival to speak out about important issues. In 2020 you are saying, “Paza Sauti! Kataa Unyanyasaji” (Speak Out! Say NO to Sexual Harassment). We are very proud of you for putting such an important theme on the agenda. The SDGs put gender equality at the heart of the international agenda, and Norway is a pioneer for gender equality. Discrimination and harassment prevents girls and women from practicing their cultural rights, freedom of expression, and it hampers economic development. Busara Promotions, we speak out together with you!….”
Norwegian support for UN humanitarian aid efforts
The UN has announced an increase in humanitarian needs in 2020 due to protracted armed conflicts and more frequent extreme weather events. This year, Norway is providing NOK 420 million to the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and NOK 90 million to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
‘The funding we are providing ensures predictability for our partners and helps to promote a more effective humanitarian response, in line with the priorities set out in our humanitarian strategy,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
According to UN estimates, 167.6 million people will be in need of humanitarian assistance and protection in 2020. The UN’s global humanitarian appeal for 2020 is for USD 28.8 billion.
Norway is one of the largest contributors to the UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). CERF ensures that assistance reaches people affected by humanitarian crises quickly. It also provides much-needed funding for underfunded emergencies. Norway’s contribution is provided under an agreement between Norway and CERF on the provision of funding totalling nearly NOK 1.7 billion over a four-year period.
Every year, some 20 million people receive urgent medical assistance through CERF, and 10 million people receive food aid. In 2019, CERF provided funding to alleviate humanitarian crises in 47 countries, including Somalia, Djibouti, Yemen and Venezuela. This year, CERF has already provided funding to help tackle the desert locust outbreak in East Africa, and to provide shelter for those most in need in conflict-ridden Niger.
The UN plays a key role in ensuring effective coordination, planning and implementation of humanitarian responses.
‘A well-functioning UN is vital for ensuring that humanitarian action is effective and that it meets the needs of those who are most severely affected by crises. The UN resident coordinators and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) play a key role in this regard,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.
In 2020, Norway is providing NOK 90 million in funding for OCHA’s efforts to promote coordinated humanitarian action. In addition, Norway will provide support for OCHA’s country offices and country-based pooled funds in particularly vulnerable countries.
One of the biggest challenges in humanitarian work is to ensure protection for and provide assistance to internally displaced people. According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), over 41 million people worldwide were internally displaced at the end of 2018. This number is increasing, and there is a need to step up the response in this area.
On 3 December last year, the UN Secretary-General established a High‑level Panel on Internal Displacement, which is tasked with proposing recommendations for how countries can provide better protection for internally displaced people and with finding long-term solutions to internal displacement. Norway has actively supported this initiative and will provide NOK 6.55 million in funding from this year’s humanitarian budget to the secretariat that has been established to support the work of the Panel.
Lufthansa grounds flights to Tehran after plane crash as Norwegian Air reroutes
German airliner Lufthansa is grounding all of its flights to Tehran for now, a spokeswoman said.
The company said it would decide when to resume flights once it was able to assess detailed information.
A Thursday flight from Frankfurt to Tehran operated by Lufthansa turned back after around an hour in the air due to changes made to the security assessment regarding the airspace around Tehran airport, according to the spokeswoman.
Lufthansa had planned to resume flights to Iran that day after a one-day halt to services.
The move was in response to a Ukrainian passenger jet crash, which a number of countries believe may have been shot down by Iran in error.
ow-cost airline Norwegian Air has joined a string of other carriers that have temporarily ceased flying over Iranian airspace following the crash of a Ukrainian passenger jet shortly after take-off from Tehran on Wednesday.
“As a precautionary measure and due to the uncertain situation in Iran, we are re-routing our Dubai flights until further notice,” an airline spokeswoman tells dpa.
The first two Norwegian flights bound for Dubai were rerouted Wednesday evening: One departed from Stockholm the other from Oslo.
Edited by: Emmanuel Yashim
Norwegian tourist asked to leave India after joining protests
A Norwegian tourist visiting India’s Kerala state on Friday posted on her social media page that she had been asked to leave the country after participating in a political protest.
Janne-Mette Johansson said in a Facebook post “a couple of hours back the Bureau of Immigration showed up at my hotel again. I was told to leave the country at once, or legal actions would be taken.
“I asked for an explanation and also something in writing. I was told I would not get anything in writing.’’
An official at the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office (FRRO) in Kochi confirmed the tourist was asked to leave India.
The official told dpa over telephone that “she violated her visa rules and has been asked to leave, we cannot give more details.
Johansson said she was leaving for the airport and hoped to catch a flight to Sweden via Dubai.
Johansson had posted photographs of a demonstration held in Kochi on Monday against a recently approved citizenship law, saying: “this afternoon I participated in a protest march.’’
Earlier, a German student on an exchange programme at the Indian Institute of Technology in Chennai was also asked to leave for violating visa rules.
The student had also participated in a rally against the new citizenship law.
India is currently seeing widespread protests, some of them violent, against the law, despite orders in many places prohibiting such gatherings.
The Citizenship Amendment Act makes it easier for non-Muslim immigrants from three neighbouring countries to gain Indian nationality.
Critics say the law discriminates against Muslims and is against India’s secular constitution.
Edited by: Hadiza Mohammed/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Family hopes Norwegian investor’s missing wife still alive
Family hopes Norwegian investor’s missing wife still alive
Stockholm, Oct. 30, 2019 The wife of one of Norway’s wealthiest businessmen remains missing but her family hopes she is still alive, the family attorney said on Wednesday, the eve of her disappearance a year ago.
Anne-Elisabeth Hagen went missing on Oct. 31, 2018 from her Lorenskog home in Akershus County, near Oslo.
`The family hopes, but does not know if Anne-Elisabeth is still alive,’ attorney Svein Holden said, the NTB news agency reported.
Holden told reporters that the family has answered all messages from the suspected kidnappers, adding that the last contact from them was on July 8.
`The most recent message sent from us was in October,”’’he told reporters in Oslo, adding that there had been no reply.
In late June, police said they feared Hagen had been murdered, revising their main hypothesis concerning her disappearance.
A ransom request could have been an attempt at covering up the suspected murder, police had said at the time, noting a lack of proof of life and a long period without contact with the alleged kidnappers.
The payment was requested in cryptocurrency, which is difficult to trace.
The attorney said Hagen’s family was anxious to find out what has happened to her, and were considering offering a reward for information.
Her husband, Tom Hagen, is an investor with business interests in power generation and real estate, and is estimated to be worth 1.7 billion kroner (200 million dollars), according to financial site Kapital.
Edited by: Halima Sheji/Felix Ajide
Berlin mosque’s female imam wins Norwegian university rights award
UiO Human Rights Award by the University of Oslo.
Ates, who is also a lawyer and writer, is the founder of the Berlin Ibn-Rushd-Goethe Mosque that allowed men and women to pray together, and women to lead prayers.
The Jury said that with her liberal religious platform, her serious political criticism, and her opposition to the patriarchy in all religions and societies, Ates had raised awareness of how important it was that all citizens must respect universal human rights and democratic rules of play.
The Istanbul born Ates, 56, came to Germany at the age of six. The mosque was established in 2017.
Svein Stolen, Oslo University rector, noted that some people have no limit to their bravery, and Seyran Ates is one of them.
She had showed an intense will to fight for universal values and human rights, at the expense of her own personal freedom and at the risk of her own life.
Ates acknowledged the fact that she was moved to tears on learning of the recognition.
The University of Oslo’s Human Rights Award, Lisl and Leo Eitinger’s Fund, was first awarded in 1986 to author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who accepted the Nobel Peace Prize same year.
The prize is worth 10,000 euros (or 11, 000 dollars). The award ceremony is set for Dec. 5.
Edited by Yahaya Isah
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