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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 13 November, 2019
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Norwegian to operate Dreamliner from Dublin following suspension of Boeing 737 MAX

The Boeing 737 MAX fleet was suspended from European airspace yesterday.

Norwegian Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner airplane Norwegian Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner Source: DPA/PA Images

NORWEGIAN AIRLINE HAS announced that it is to temporarily operate a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to operate US flights from Dublin Airport after the 737 MAX fleet was suspended from European airspace yesterday. 

The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) made the decision to suspend all flight operations of the aircraft in Europe after an Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 went down minutes into a flight to Nairobi in Kenya on Sunday, killing all 157 people on board. 

Sunday’s crash comes four months after a Lion Air jet of the same model crashed in Indonesia killing 189.

Earlier yesterday, Norwegian confirmed that it is temporarily suspending its fleet of Boeing 737 MAX. 

The airline has now confirmed that it will temporarily deploy a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to operate US flights from Dublin Airport to support affected customers. 

Affected customers are being provided with text and web updates, according to Norwegian. 

Customers booked on affected transatlantic routes to and from Ireland serviced by the 737 MAX will be rebooked onto flights using the 787-9 Dreamliner.

The 787 Dreamliner, registered G-CKWF with Charles Lindbergh on the aircraft tail, will operate the Dublin-New York Stewart (SWF) route daily.

The first flight will be operated today on flight D81763 from Dublin Airport to New York Stewart International Airport (SWF) at 3.20pm.

The airline said that arrangements are being made to accommodate passengers booked to travel from Dublin to Stewart and Providence on the new Dreamliner service, with plans to bus passengers to Providence upon arrival in New York.

“We would like to apologise to affected customers and we remain committed to ensuring that customers can continue to travel on Norwegian’s network,” the airline said in a statement.

The airline had launched flights with the Boeing 373 MAX aircraft from Dublin to the US east coast in 2017. 

Aircraft suspension

Announcing the airspace ban, the EASA yesterday said that it is “continuously analysing the data” emerging relating to Sunday’s crash and that the decision to suspend Boeing 737 MAX operations in Europe was taken as a “precautionary measure”. 

The Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) made a decision earlier yesterday to temporarily suspend the operation of all variants of the Boeing aircraft into and out of Irish airspace.

“This decision has been taken based on ensuring the continued safety of passengers and flight crew, which is the IAA’s number one priority,” the IAA said. 

A Norwegian flight to Newburgh, Orange County, New York – due to leave Dublin Airport at 3.20pm yesterday – was cancelled. An earlier 2.55pm flight to Providence was also cancelled. 

There are 13 Boeing 737 aircraft on the Irish aircraft register. The IAA said it will continue to work closely with the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) and the manufacturer Boeing.

Responding to the suspensions, Boeing said safety is its “number one priority” and it has “full confidence” in the safety of the 737 Max. 

Advice for passengers

The Commission for Aviation Regulation (Car) has advised affected passengers to be aware of their entitlements.

In the event of a flight cancellation, the air carrier must offer you the choice between the following:

  • re-routing as soon as possible;
  • re-routing at a later date at your convenience; or
  • a refund.

If you choose the first option the airline must provide you with care and assistance while you wait for the alternative flight. 

‘Care and assistance’ comprise:

  • meals and refreshments in reasonable relation to the waiting time;
  • hotel accommodation where an overnight stay becomes necessary;
  • transport between the hotel accommodation and the airport;
  • two free telephone calls/ access to email.

More information can be found on the Car website.

With reporting by Michelle Hennessy 

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