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Dublin: 11 °C Monday 19 August, 2019
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Norwegian Air to scrap its Ireland to North America flights from 15 September

The carrier is one of many airlines affected by the global grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX fleet.

Updated Tue 8:36 PM

NORWEGIAN AIR IS scrapping its transatlantic routes between Ireland and North America after it announced that they are not commercially viable. 

The airline began operating routes from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to the US east coast in 2017. In total, the airline currently has six routes operating between Ireland and the US and Canada.

These routes will be discontinued from 15 September. 

The carrier is one of many airlines affected by the global grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX fleet following the Ethiopian Airlines crash that killed 157 people.

Matthew Wood, SVP long-haul commercial at Norwegian said the airline has been working “tirelessly” since March to minimise the impact on its customers by hiring replacement aircraft to operate between Ireland the North America. 

“However, as the return to service date for the 737 MAX remains uncertain, this solution is unsustainable,” Wood said. 

Wood said the airline is assisting customers by “ensuring they can still get to their destination by rerouting them onto other Norwegian services”. 

Customers will be offered a full refund if they no longer wish to travel. 

The airline is engaging with its pilots and cabin crew at its Dublin base, including their respective unions, “to ensure that redundancies remain a last resort”. 

Its 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. 

Norwegian Air plans to continue its scheduled services from Dublin to Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen as normal. 

Reaction

The Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) has said it is disappointed over the news that Norwegian Air plans to discontinue its transatlantic flights. 

“The ITAA is extremely disappointed by the news that three transatlantic routes to Ireland are being discontinued. Norwegian Air has been an important part of building passenger numbers through Cork and Shannon and we would like to see continued growth in our regional airports,” ITAA CEO Pat Dawson said. 

Dawson noted that “while there is plenty of choice in airline routes flying from Dublin, customers will suffer when it comes to competitiveness following the loss of Norwegian’s transatlantic routes”.

“We understand that Norwegian Air will be working with passengers booked on transatlantic flights to make alternative arrangements or to offer full refunds,” he said. 

“Anyone who has booked with a travel agent should contact their agent, who will manage all changes and minimise disruption to travel plans.”

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