September 5, 2019
Norwegian Air has suspended its low cost flights from Providence to Ireland, effective September 15. The airline had become popular among local visitors to Ireland, and had offered service to Cork, Shannon, and Dublin.
The company said it is ending all its transatlantic flights to and from Ireland, saying that the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX has forced it to shut down its transatlantic routes operating from Dublin, Cork, and Shannon to the United States and Canada. Those have purchased tickets for any flights beyond the termination date will have to make other arrangements for their travel plans.
"In light of the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, we have concluded that these routes are no longer commercially viable," said senior Norwegian executive, Matthew Wood, adding that since the MAX aircraft was grounded last spring, the airline has tried accommodate passengers on its Irish routes by leasing aircraft from other airlines. "However, since the date of return to service of the 737 MAX remains uncertain, this solution is not sustainable," Wood said.
In a statement, Pat Dawson, the CEO of the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA), expressed the group’s disappointment over the news, saying “Norwegian Air has been an important part of building passenger numbers through Cork and Shannon and we would like to see continued growth in our regional airports.” Dawson added that “while there is plenty of choice in airline routes flying from Dublin, customers will suffer when it comes to competitiveness following the loss of Norwegian’s routes.”
“We understand that Norwegian Air will be working with passengers booked on transatlantic flights to make alternative arrangements or to offer full refunds,” Dawson said, suggesting that “anyone who has booked with a travel agent should contact their agent, who will manage all changes and minimize disruption to travel plans.”