Scandinavian airline Norwegian is ending flights between Ireland and North America effective September 2019. The airline is blaming the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX for no longer making the routes commercially viable.
The low cost carrier will end all routes from Dublin, Cork, and Shannon to both the United States and Canada. This will take effect from September 15th, 2019.
Since the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX in early 2019, Norwegian has been stuck wet leasing aircraft from various operators to carry out these routes, and with the additional costs, these services are no longer viable to the airline.
Norwegian operated its first transatlantic flight from Ireland in June 2016 between Cork and Boston. The airline expanded rapidly and hit a peak in May 2018 with 11,000 two way seats between North America and Ireland.
The decision to terminate Ireland to North America flights will not affect the other long haul operations of the airline, as those flights are operated by the much larger Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet.
United Airlines is canceling it’s Newark (EWR) to Mumabi, India (BOM) route due to a recent ban placed on flights over the country of Iran as well as the Gulf of Oman and Strait of Hormuz.
This ultra long 15 hour nonstop flight between Newark and Mumbai is only possible with the ability to cross over Iranian airspace. Pakistan is situated next to Iran, however, their country also has a no-fly restriction at the moment due to tensions between India and Pakistan. Another alternative route would take the aircraft too close to Syria and Iraq. With no other viable alternative without adding a refueling stop, the decision was made to close the route altogether for the time being.
Airlines try to avoid fuel stops whenever possible due to the delay it could cause the flight, as well as the additional costs incurred by the airline and reduction in potential profits on the flight.
The United Airlines route between Newark and Mumbai is an important link, as Mumbai serves as the financial hub of India. The route typically carries businessmen and wealthier passengers. It’s a safe bet that United Airlines will resume the flight once tensions with Iran cool down, or the situation with Pakistan improves.
Until that time, passengers will need to connect through Europe to reach their Indian destination.
AZAL Azerbaijan Airlines operates flights twice per week from New York’s JFK airport nonstop to Baku Airport in Azerbaijan. The flights are operated on the Boeing 787 aircraft in a two class configuration. The last scheduled flight from JFK will depart on September 30th with service ceasing after that.
No official statement has been given by AZAL, but this information was confirmed by airline insiders as official. This news is unfortunate, as I had the opportunity to fly on AZAL from New York JFK to Baku to Moscow about 2 years ago, and the flight was phenomenal! The seating was comfortable, the entertainment was good, and the quantity and quality of the food was impressive, not to mention the cheap ticket price!
AZAL will surely be missed by some, as I know it was a preferred choice of mine for flights to and around Central Asia.
This post will be updated more once additional details are known.
Dubai offers nonstop flights to almost every major city in the world, and they are about to add another city to the map. The tiny Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent’s and the Grenadines (SVD). However, the route won’t be flown by Emirates, but by a tiny charter operator named One Caribbean.
One Caribbean is a charter airline based in Argyle Int’l Airport (SVD) and operates small 19 seat Beechcraft 1900 aircraft. The news of a tiny charter operator starting new services with an aircraft as large as the Boeing 747-400 has been raising some eyebrows around the airline industry.
The entire nation of St. Vincent’s and the Grenadines only consists of a population of 110,000 people. Hardly enough to sustain 747 services, unless it would be something along the lines of a once weekly charter flight to/from Europe (i.e. London).
It will be interesting to see how this airline performs. Based on a local news article, the government is in full support of the airline, so hopefully that helps keep them afloat as they learn how to best handle their new queen of the sky.
The small airline Via Airlines has suspended most of their operations from airports around the United States due to what they describe as a “shortage of pilots”. The only route that will remain in their list of scheduled operations is a flight between Orlando Sanford International Airport and Jackson, Mississippi onboard their Embraer 145 aircraft. The airline will also maintain their on-demand charter operations.
Via Airlines is based in Maitland, Florida, and is a privately held company with 150 employees and 6 jet engine Embraer 145 aircraft. It has a two-decade history of flight operations and prior to this suspension operated in 19 cities across the country.
Any passengers that have tickets booked on Via Airlines should contact the airline to arrange a refund.
More information on Via Airlines can be found on their website at: https://www.flyviaair.com