Norwegian is no longer selling nonstop flights from the US to Shannon (SNN) and Cork (ORK) in Ireland because of a lack of suitable aircraft available to operate these unique routes, as a result of the worldwide Boeing 737 MAX grounding.
The airline previously operated these transatlantic flights using relatively small 737 MAX 8 aircraft whose extended range allowed the planes to fly nonstop to small airports on the US East Coast, including Stewart Newburgh (SWF) and Providence (PVD). However, this aircraft type has been grounded worldwide for several months with no real end to the grounding in sight.
The grounding has meant that Norwegian does not have suitable aircraft in its fleet to operate the routes. Its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft are both too big and already utilized on other routes, like its sizeable network from London (LGW) to major airports in North America, and its large Boeing 737 (non-MAX) fleet does not have the range to make the journey nonstop year-round, since winds are stronger in winter.
“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. “Cork is a seasonal route, while the reduced availability of aircraft has led to the removal of Shannon services this winter”.
Norwegian has attempted to lease aircraft that can operate the services in the short-term, however, this has not been a viable long-term solution. So, Norwegian has announced the decision to no longer sell tickets for the rest of the Northern summer reason.
Air Canada has the same issue at Shannon (SNN) and has also suspended its 737 MAX route to Toronto (YYZ).
Passengers with existing bookings on these routes have been advised to make their own way to Dublin (DUB) airport where they can still fly Norwegian to their original destination. “Customers are advised to arrange bus or rail travel to Dublin and can claim for their expenses with proof of receipt”, Norwegian told TPG. “Alternatively, customers have also been given the chance to rebook or receive a refund free of charge”.
Featured image courtesy of Norwegian.