Norway’s flagship airline and one of Europe’s most economical carriers, Norwegian Airlines, has announced that it will be cutting out many of its long-haul flights following operational difficulties.
Effective March 29, 2020, many of the airline’s long-range flights will discontinue until further notice. Travellers can expect long delays and cancellations due to the reduction.
Profits take a hit
Norwegian Airlines revealed in a press interview that it undertook a thorough review of its operations, and the findings haven’t been promising. The focus of the company is now on growth and profitability, and the airline has no plans of re-starting the cut routes in the near future.
The primary flights that will vanish are the US and Thailand bound routes originating from Stockholm and Copenhagen. The Madrid-and-New York and Oslo-and-Krabi pairs have also been stopped. The only Asia-bound route that may make a comeback during the summer of 2020 is the Oslo-to-Bangkok route.
Engine troubles keep Norwegian grounded
While Norwegian Airlines doesn’t use Boeing’s 737s MAX, it has been overly-dependent on another faulty aircraft by the same manufacturer.
The Boeing 787 Dreamliner has been the primary choice for Norwegian Airline’s long-haul flights for years. However, the aircraft’s Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engine has been giving many problems and has been dubbed as a dire security concern.
The turbine’s intermediate pressure section has been experiencing technical issues since 2016 and was the main reason behind the grounding of hundreds of flights across the world.
According to Matthew Wood, Norwegian Airlines’ Senior Vice President of Commercial, the company’s fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliner have been grounded far longer than they have been in the air. This has caused massive losses for the company, and the low income generating routes have proved unsustainable.
Rolls Royce is still in the process of developing a new and improved turbine for the Dreamliner. But it is still expected to be a while before the aircraft is back in operation.
New plans for the new year
While almost 10% of the capacity is expected to be done away with, Norwegian Airlines is still operating some of its more popular routes.
Remaining untouched are all flights between the United States and Oslo. This includes the Oslo to Los Angeles, New York, Boston, and San Francisco.
So are all Norwegian flights operating from Norway to London, Barcelona, Rome, and Paris. Other flights between primary European travel spots and the US are expected to continue running as usual. In fact, the airline is adding additional trips on some of the most-travelled holiday routes, in time for Christmas and New Year – bringing its transatlantic runs to 50.
In addition to this, the airline has struck a partnership with US-based operator JetBlue. They will act as connecting flights between the US, Caribbean, and Latin American countries and Norwegian Airlines’ European destinations.
Long delays in the offing
But, despite the new routes, passengers wishing to fly the old, eliminated routes, may experience delays and cancellations due to a lack of options. Additionally, travel costs may also exponentially increase as European travellers will now lose Norwegian Airlines’ pocket-friendly prices along with Ryanair’s (Boeing Max 737) routes as well.