Europe’s airlines are no strangers to route cancellations. But one European airline carrier is taking things to an extreme by cancelling multiple routes for the winter season.
Norwegian Airlines reported that it would be closing multiple routes in its European travel division, in time for the 2019/2020 winter travel season. The exact dates stand between November 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020. The decision comes after Norwegian Airlines’ announcement that the company would be focusing on profitability this financial year and not market growth.
Route cutting will begin as early as the last week of October, with multiple routes within Europe and those between USA and Europe closing down. The news comes as a shock to travellers gearing up for Christmas.
Norwegian Airlines happened to be one of the few carriers offering inter-continental, transatlantic travel at rates as low as €99. But with many of its routes shut down during the peak holiday season, travellers have to be content with high-priced alternatives.
Sinking profits the cause for route cancellations
Route cutting has been a prevalent task for Norwegian Airlines. But what’s surprising is that all the flights cancelled for winter were actually set-up specifically to serve the season.
The problem for Europe’s most-favoured budget airlines started with the grounding of its 18 Boeing 737 Max planes between March & September 2019, following the fatal crashes in Ethiopia. With these fuel-efficient and large-occupancy aircraft no longer in the running, the company announced its inability to support the rising operational expenses.
According to company reports, only 113 of the 150 flights between the USA and Europe will be operational this winter. The flights within Europe have suffered the same, if worse, fate.
Routes that have been axed
So what trips has Norwegian Airlines done away with for the 2019/2020 winter travel season?
Well, for starters, Norwegian flights from Stockholm Arlanda and Helsinki will have their routes to Dublin, Milan, Madrid and Copenhagen cancelled between November 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020. Norwegian carriers operating the Copenhagen to Dublin route too have been cut.
Oslo flights to Fuerteventura and Agadir and the route between Sandefjord-Torp and Malaga have also been cancelled. In addition to this, the Norwegian routes from Spain to the Canary Islands too have been affected. Spain-to-Germany has also been stopped until the end of the winter season.
As for flights between the USA and Europe, the biggest hit is on the Ireland-to-US and Ireland-to-Canada routes. Los Angeles-to-Dublin will see a loss of three flights, while travel between New York and Dublin will have two lesser hops in operation.
Additionally, the Boston to Paris route too has been scrapped. Other flight routes that are cancelled include
- Denver and Chicago flights to London Gatwick
- Los Angeles flights to Oslo, Copenhagen and Rome
- Fort Lauderdale and New York flights to Copenhagen
- Orlando flights to Oslo
- Stockholm flights to New York.
The only routes that are still in operation for the entire duration of the 2019/2020 winter season are the UK-based routes.