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Norwegian Air plans to discontinue flights between North America and Ireland in September, the latest cutbacks for the European discount carrier as it focuses on profits over growth.
The move, which the airline partially blamed on the extended grounding of the Boeing 737 Max, is effective Sept. 15 and affects three transatlantic routes:
Providence, Rhode Island-Dublin: Four weekly flights
Newburgh, New York (New York Stewart International Airport)-Dublin: Daily flights
Hamilton, Ontario-Dublin: Three weekly flights
Travelers holding tickets for travel to Dublin from the three airports after mid-September are eligible for a refund or rebooking on other Norwegian flights. The latter option will require flying out of another airport as Norwegian will no longer serve Providence, Stewart or Hamilton after the Dublin flights end, and connecting in Stockholm; Oslo, Norway; or Copenhagen, Denmark; which the airline will still serve to and from Dublin.
Norwegian previously offered service from Providence and Stewart to other destinations in Ireland, but those were suspended earlier this year due to the Max grounding. The latest decision comes as there is still no timetable for the plane’s return and using other aircraft on the routes, at one point a much larger Boeing 787 Dreamliner, is not economically viable, the airline said.
“Since March, we have tirelessly sought to minimize the impact on our customers by hiring replacement aircraft to operate services between Ireland and North America,” the airline said in a statement. “However, as the return to service date for the 737 Max remains uncertain, this solution is unsustainable.”
Norwegian was cutting routes before the Max grounding, though. A year ago, the airline dropped four U.S.-Europe routes from Providence and Stewart, which is about 60 miles north of Manhattan.
It announced the addition of Providence, Newburgh and Hartford, Connecticut, to its route map, using the 737 Max, with fanfare and $65 fares in early 2017. The Hartford flights didn’t last a year.
Norwegian will still have plenty of flights between the United States and Europe, though many of the routes are seasonal. The airline has flights from 14 other U.S. cities: Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Denver; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Los Angeles; Miami; New York JFK; Newark; Oakland, California; Orlando, Florida; San Francisco; Seattle; and Tampa, Florida.
Destinations include London; Paris; Barcelona, Spain; Stockholm; and Oslo.
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