Low-cost airline Norwegian will offer no further flights from Cork or Shannon airports this year, a spokesperson has confirmed.
“Due to the continued grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX by the European aviation authorities, our flights to and from Cork and Shannon will be re-routed via Dublin for the remainder of the summer season,” the airline said in a statement.
“Cork is a seasonal route, while the reduced availability of aircraft has led to the removal of Shannon services this winter,” it added.
The decision is a result of the grounding of hundreds of Boeing 737 MAX jets worldwide, following two fatal recent crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.
Norwegian has now grounded all 18 of its Max planes, impacting the number of flights it has been able to operate across its network.
“Customers travelling to and from Cork and Shannon are being re-accommodated on to different aircraft types between Dublin, New York and Providence to ensure travel plans can continue with minimal disruption,” it advises.
Affected customers can rebook or receive a free refund, and may also claim expenses for rail or bus travel to Dublin “with proof or receipt”, it adds.
“We would like to sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused.”
“We regret the grounding of the 18 aircraft by Norwegian arising from the issues with the Boeing 737 Max aircraft,” said Niall MacCarthy, MD of Cork Airport.
“Norwegian have curtailed services in a large number of European airports, including Cork, Shannon and Belfast. We’re confident that, with a proven market in Cork for transatlantic services, they will return in due course and we continue to market these to Norwegian and other airlines.”
Norwegian first began flying from Cork, Dublin, Belfast and Shannon to regional airports in the US in the summer of 2017.
At the time, headline-grabbing fares for as low as €69 each-way were touted as the start of a new era in affordable transatlantic travel.
Services on a new generation of fuel-efficient, single-aisle aircraft were a selling point, connecting to New York’s Stewart Airport and Providence/Boston-TF Green.
Despite rapidly expanding, however, the airline subsequently struggled to turn a profit amid tough competition, high fuel prices and an aviation landscape that saw another so-called ‘disruptor’, Iceland’s WOW air, collapse at short notice this March.
Norwegian ceased flying from Belfast to the US last October.
In March, it briefly introduced a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from Dublin in response to the suspended MAX operations. It has since being using a leased A330 aircraft and a Boeing 737-800 to continue the transatlantic routes.
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