Norwegian to stop transatlantic 737 MAX routes

Norwegian, has announced that it will discontinue its transatlantic routes originally operated by the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft this September. The decision follows months of substitute aircraft and wet-lease operations covering the airline’s routes due to the global grounding of the MAX. There are no changes to the 46 nonstop routes operated by the Dreamliner from the US to Europe.

“Since March, we have tirelessly sought to minimise the impact on our customers by hiring, so called wet-leasing, replacement aircraft to operate services between North America and Ireland. However, as the return to service date for the MAX remains uncertain, this solution is unsustainable,” said Matthew Wood, senior VP commercial long-haul and new markets, Norwegian.

In March, Norwegian introduced a back-up plan within 24 hours of the MAX grounding, accommodating all customers booked on the airline’s MAX routes from both New York Stewart International Airport and Providence, as well as launch the new route from Hamilton/Toronto, Canada, to Dublin.

Nonstop services to Cork and Shannon ended in March with the grounding of the MAX aircraft and passengers were rerouted to Dublin flights out of both Providence and Stewart. The service to Dublin from the two US cities and, also Hamilton, Canada, continued, but will now end with the last flight from the US – both Providence and Stewart – on 14 September, arriving in Dublin on 15 September. The last flight from Hamilton, Canada, will depart 13 September. Norwegian will no longer operate any substitute aircraft for the MAX.

“As the airline moves from growth to profitability, we have conducted a comprehensive review of our transatlantic operations between North America and Ireland and concluded that these routes are no longer commercially viable considering the circumstances. Compounded by the global grounding of the MAX aircraft and the continued uncertainty of its return to service, this has led us to make the difficult decision to discontinue all six routes from US and Canada to Dublin, Cork and Shannon from 16 September,” said Wood.

Customers booked on affected flights have been contacted and offered the option of either being rerouted onto other Norwegian flights or a full refund. Customers from the US can travel to Dublin via Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm.

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