Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Norwegian to end transatlantic flights between Ireland and North America from 15 September 2019


Major news from the long-haul budget carrier Norwegian,  it has called a halt to its entire transatlantic operation from Ireland from the middle of September.

The airline says fro the 15th of next month it will stop flying from Ireland to North America citing the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max fleet as a major reason for cutting all six routes from Cork, Dublin and Shannon. 

Matthew Wood, SVP Long-Haul Commercial at Norwegian said,  “As the airline moves from growth to profitability, we have conducted a comprehensive review of our transatlantic operations between Ireland and North America and considering the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, we have concluded that these routes are no longer commercially viable."


The airline has conducted a full review of the routes and decided there just isn't the passenger demand to continue with them “Since March, we have tirelessly sought to minimise the impact on our customers by hiring (wet-leasing) replacement aircraft to operate services between Ireland and North America. However, as the return to service date for the 737 MAX remains uncertain, this solution is unsustainable." Wood said on Tuesday.

Passengers with tickets for the cancelled flights will get a full refund if they no longer wish to travel or will be able to reroute on Norwegian's other flights. The airline's routes to Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen from Dublin are not affected by this cancellation and will continue to operate as normal.

Wood says the airline is 'proactively engaging'  with its cabin and flight deck crews based in Dublin to mitigate the need for redundancies.  “Our 80 Dublin-based administrative staff at Norwegian Air International and Norwegian Group’s asset company, Arctic Aviation Assets, will not be affected by the route closures." Wood added

“We would like to thank Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports in addition to New York Stewart, Providence and Hamilton airports, tourism partners and our colleagues and customers for supporting Norwegian’s transatlantic expansion from Ireland since 2017.”

Many industry commentators have commented that this move had been on the cards for a long while as the carrier tries to stem losses and has dropped other non-profitable routes elsewhere. Indeed, some have said there will be more consolidation of the Norwegian route network as it steps away from mass growth and hopes to head to profitability.   




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