Sunday, 20 October, 2019

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Norwegian Air decision to end all Irish direct transatlantic routes puts 134 jobs at risk

Norwegian Air’s decision to pull all its direct transatlantic flights from Ireland into North America next month amid mounting costs has put up to 134 crew and administrative jobs at risk.

Norwegian, which had already pulled its Cork and Shannon transatlantic services in March after the worldwide grounding of the Boeing 737 Max planes, said the costs of replacing aircraft for its remaining transatlantic routes out of Dublin had become “unsustainable”.

The Dublin routes affected include New York-Stewart, Providence-Boston, as well as Hamilton-Toronto.

A spokesman said there was the potential for pilots, cabin crew and administrative staff in Dublin to be affected by the decision, while “several thousand” passengers who had pre-booked would be offered refunds or alternative indirect transatlantic flights but routed from Dublin into Scandinavia.

Norwegian first launched in Ireland in July two years ago, raising hopes it would compete over price with IAG’s Aer Lingus across the Atlantic and offer direct routes out of Cork into North America, which Aer Lingus, with its focus on its Dublin transatlantic hub, doesn’t offer.

However, the airline faced strong headwinds as fuel costs rose and its Oslo-based parent company needed to seek refinancing.

When it pulled services out of Cork and Shannon in March few believed it would return to those airports.

“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,” the airline said.

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