Dublin, Ireland - Budget airline operator Norwegian will stop all transatlantic flights from Ireland on 15 September due to uncertainty as to when the grounded Boeing 737 MAXs will be allowed to fly again.
After two 737 MAX crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia at short intervals, the aircraft has been on the ground for five months now.
Some 737 MAX operators are trying to fill the gap in their fleets by leasing or acquiring different single-aisle jets while others are suspending or closing some of their routes.
Low-cost operator Norwegian is one of them. The airline, which has six 737 MAX jets in its fleet, terminates its transatlantic routes from Dublin, Cork and Shannon Airports in Ireland to New York Stewart and Providence in the US and Hamilton in Canada.
These routes were previously operated with the carrier's 737 MAXs. Norwegian adopted low-cost long-haul business model to benefit from the 737 MAXs' fuel efficiency and less passenger capacity, but the longer flight range on these routes. The company has 92 more 737 MAX jets on its backlog waiting to be delivered over time.
After the temporary flight ban for 737 MAXs, Norwegian was forced to operate these routes with wet-leased, less-efficient planes. Due to the prolonged grounding of the 737 MAX jets, it turned out to be a costly affair for the operator.
Eventually, the Nordic carrier decided to cease its transatlantic flights from Ireland to North America as of September 15.
Norwegian has been flying from Ireland to North America since 2017.