Airlines Are Leasing 30-Year-Old Planes to Replace 737 Max Fleet

People pass the logo of German travel company TUI AG at the company's headquarters in Hanover. Credit Reuters  Fabian Bimmer

People pass the logo of German travel company TUI AG at the company's headquarters in Hanover. Credit Reuters Fabian Bimmer

The carrier had been running six routes from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to the United States and Canada.

Responding to the announcement Mary Considine, acting CEO of the Shannon Group, said: "We are disappointed that Norwegian Air International will cease all transatlantic services into Irish airports, including Shannon, from September 15".

Norwegian pulled its Shannon flights in the aftermath of the grounding of the MAX Aircraft, a move which represented a significant blow to the Airport and the region.

The low-fares airline says having conducted a comprehensive review of its transatlantic operations between Ireland and North America and considering the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, it has concluded that the routes are no longer commercially viable and will cease on September 15.

The company said that they "take a strict approach to route management and constantly evaluate route performance to ensure we meet customer demand".

"Since March, we have tirelessly sought to minimise the impact on our customers by hiring, so called wet leasing, replacement aircraft to operate services between North America and Ireland".

Norwegian's situation may be repeated with more airlines in the coming months as the 737 MAX's return to service is not defined.

"We are proactively engaging with our pilots and cabin crew at our Dublin base, including their respective unions, to ensure that redundancies remain a last resort".

Customers who have booked flights which have been affected by the decision have been informed and offered to be rerouted or given a full refund, according to the airline.

RTE reports that "Norwegian Air began operating routes between Dublin, Cork, Shannon and the USA, amid much fanfare, in July 2017, carrying 650,000 passengers in that time".

The airline has said "several thousand customers" will be impacted by the route closures.

The Oslo-based carrier began offering daily year-round service between Hamilton and Dublin in March.

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