Airline ends trans-Atlantic routes due to 737 Max grounding

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

"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 hard decision to discontinue all six routes from Dublin, Cork and Shannon".

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.

Norwegian announced Tuesday that it is discontinuing transatlantic routes originally operated by the Boeing 737 Max aircraft this September - which includes T.F. Green Airport and multiple locations in the northeast. "However, as the return to service date for the 737 MAX remains uncertain, this solution is unsustainable". We will continue to offer scheduled services from Dublin to Oslo, Stockholm and Copenhagen as normal.

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 company says it's helping customers to make sure they can still get to their destination, by rerouting them onto other services.

The grounding has caused huge disruption for airlines, which have had to charter new planes to maintain flight schedules.

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

Shares in Norwegian closed down 2.9%.

Profits in other branches of TUI's business were clouded by losses stemming from the Boeing 737 MAX groundings.

Colm Barrington, CEO of Fly Leasing, says that many older planes are in high-demand after the grounding of the 737 Max fleet.

Earnings in the group in the third quarter plummeted to €100.9m after booking costs of €144m over the grounding of the 737 aircraft along with Brexit uncertainty.

Boeing officials have also said it may reduce or halt production of 737 MAX planes if the company can not fix the MCAS glitch by the end of the year, with the company's President and CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, stating in a teleconference in late July that "we might need to consider possible further rate reductions, or other options including a temporary shutdown of the MAX production".

Deliveries totaled 258 aircraft in the seven months through July, compared to 417 a year ago, and trailing far behind the 458 aircraft handed over in the same period by European rival Airbus SE.



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