Norwegian Air has announced that it will stop operating its routes between Ireland and North America on September 15.
"No Longer Commercially Viable"
In a statement on Norwegian Air's website, the airline's SVP of long-haul commercial, Matthew Wood, 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.
"We take a strict approach to route management, and constantly evaluate route performance to ensure we meet customer demand. 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.
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"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.
"We are assisting customers by ensuring they can still get to their destination by rerouting them onto other Norwegian services. 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.
"We are proactively engaging with our pilots and cabin crew at our Dublin base, including their respective unions, to ensure that redundancies remain a last resort.
"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.
Thanking Airports, Partners, Colleagues And Customers
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."
© 2019 Hospitality Ireland – your source for the latest industry news. Article by Dave Simpson. Click subscribe to sign up for the Hospitality Ireland print edition.