Norwegian will axe all six of its Irish transatlantic routes next month, citing the grounding of Boeing’s 737 Max aircraft and the ongoing uncertainty over when it will return to service.
The low-cost carrier’s flights from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to the US and Canada will cease as of 15 September.
Norwegian says it is engaging with its pilots and cabin crew at its Dublin base, as well as their union representatives, “to ensure redundancies remain a last resort”.
It is understood around 134 jobs are at risk.
Norwegian’s 80 Dublin-based administrative staff will not be affected.
Matthew Wood, Norwegian senior vice-president commercial long-haul, said: “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 these routes are no longer commercially viable.
“We take a strict approach to route management and constantly evaluate route performance to ensure we meet customer demand. Compounded by the global grounding of the 737 Max and the continued uncertainty of its return to service, this has led us to make the difficult decision to discontinue all six routes from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to the US and Canada from 15 September 2019.”
Wood said since the Max was grounded in March, the airline had sought to minimise the impact on passengers by wet-leasing replacement aircraft. However, with there yet no date fixed for the Max’s return, Norwegian says this arrangement has become “unsustainable”.
“We are assisting customers by ensuring they can still get to their destination by rerouting them onto other Norwegian services,” said Wood. “Customers will also be offered a full refund if they no longer wish to travel. We will continue to offer scheduled services from Dublin to Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen as normal.”
Norwegian launched its Irish transatlantic operation in July 2017, flying to New York Stewart, Providence (Boston) and Hamilton (Toronto) airports.