Norwegian Air has announced that it will abandon its transatlantic routes between Ireland and the US from 15 September. The decision was taken as a result of the uncertain return to service of the 737 MAX, a jet that was used by the company until March when European aviation authorities decreed its grounding.
In order to maintain routes such as Dublin, Cork, Shannon to Hamilton, Newburgh and Providence, the low-cost airline used several strategies including placing the widebody 787 and 737-800 on these flights. The situation, however, became unsustainable as Norwegian operated with a fleet of 18 aircraft.
“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,” said Matthew Wood, SVP Long Haul Commercial at Norwegian.
Return in December?
Norwegian’s situation may be repeated with more airlines in the coming months as the 737 MAX’s return to service is not defined.
Boeing plans to hand over the revision of the software that controls the MCAS system by September so that authorities can review it by the end of the year.
If all goes as planned, the 737 MAX could fly again in December or January 2020. Some Boeing client airlines have rescheduled jet flights for that period, hoping to resume their plans and count on the big savings. of fuel promised by the 737 MAX.