Norwegian Air announced that it will stop flights between the U.S. and Ireland due to the ongoing grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft.
The decision, which will go into effect on September 15, 2019, was made after the airline concluded the routes were not commercially viable.
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“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,” said Matthew Wood, senior vice president long-haul commercial at Norwegian.
Wood added that the uncertainty over the 737 Max planes was a factor in the decision.
“We take a strict approach to route management and constantly evaluate route performance to ensure we meet customer demand,” he noted. “Compounded by the global grounding of the 737 MAX and the continued uncertainty of its return to service, this has led us to make the difficult decision to discontinue all six routes from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to the US and Canada from 15 September 2019.”
The airline has been renting or “wet-leasing” aircraft for the route but the airline has deemed this unsustainable in light of the fact that the 737 Max will likely remain grounded into 2020.
“We are assisting customers by ensuring they can still get to their destination by rerouting them onto other Norwegian services,” said Wood. “Customers will also be offered a full refund if they no longer wish to travel. We will continue to offer scheduled services from Dublin to Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen as normal.”
Wood concluded by thanking Norwegian’s partners.
“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,” he said.
Several other airlines have already made route changes and route cancelations after determining these airplanes will remain out of operation into the coming year, including Southwest, Air Canada, United Airlines and more.