Norwegian Air scales back flights following declining traffic, issues with 737 Max 8 plane

Sometimes it’s good to be an innovator, a pioneer. Other times not so much.

The extent of the damage done to Norwegian Air’s Stewart Airport business is becoming more clear. The release of February data shows a drop in international passenger traffic – only Norwegian — for that month from 14,666 last year to 12,215 in 2019. International traffic had been showing double-digit growth most months before that. The Scandinavian carrier cut operations to Belfast, Bergen and Shannon in February and continued service to Dublin and Edinburgh.

The grounding of the Boeing 737 Max 8 planes shortly after an Ethiopian Airlines crash on March 10 is having a huge negative effect on Norwegian, one of the leading Max 8 users (including on its Stewart service). This week Norwegian announced it would limit its Stewart flights to one leased 388-seat A330 300 Airbus flight daily to Dublin. Dublin passengers who had been rerouted from T.F. Green Airport near Providence will no longer use Stewart instead.

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Norwegian said the limited new schedule at Stewart will be in effect until September 1. That date could be changed depending on the resolution of the catastrophic safety issues that had grounded the Max 8s.

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