Norwegian Air, which had been touted as the airline responsible for putting New York Stewart International Airport in Orange County on the international air service map, plans to end its operations from Stewart to Ireland effective Sept. 15.
The move is a result of Norwegian’s decision to end all transatlantic operations between Ireland and North America. The Stewart to Ireland route is one of six the airline is dropping between the U.S. and Ireland. The decision means an end to Norwegian’s operations at Stewart.
Matthew Wood, senior vice president for long-haul commercial service at Norwegian 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 that these routes are no longer commercially viable.”
When Norwegian introduced the overseas service at Stewart, it offered low-cost fares, with some one-way fares under $100.
Norwegian has been flying routes connecting the U.S. and Canada with Dublin, Cork and Shannon in Ireland. From Dublin and the other destinations travelers could connect with flights to other points in Europe.
“We would like to thank Dublin, Cork and Shannon airports in addition to New York Stewart, Providence (Rhode Island) and Hamilton (Canada) airports, tourism partners and our colleagues and customers for supporting Norwegian’s transatlantic expansion from Ireland since 2017,” Wood said.
Wood said that the airline still remains uncertain as to when the Boeing 737 MAX fleet will be allowed to return to service. Two fatal crashes of the relatively new airplane apparently have involved a system designed to prevent the aircraft from entering an aerodynamic stall in which the airplane’s flight angle causes the wings to no longer be able to produce enough lift to keep it flying. A lack of adequate pilot training for transitioning to the new models also may have factored into those accidents.
“Since March, we have tirelessly sought to minimize the impact on our customers by hiring (leasing) replacement aircraft to operate services between Ireland and North America. However, as the return to service date for the 737 MAX remains uncertain, this solution is unsustainable,” Wood said.
Norwegian had used a larger Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane on flights from Stewart as a way to replace the grounded 737 MAX airplanes and was shutting passengers between Providence and Stewart airports for the overseas Dreamliner flights.