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Why Norwegian Is Nixing Its Nordic Flights

Why Norwegian Is Nixing Its Nordic Flights
Taylor Rains

Norwegian Air is making changes to its maturing route structure as we go into 2020, starting with nixing all of its long-haul flights to/from Stockholm and Copenhagen.

What’s Changing and Why?

From both Nordic cities, the carrier currently operates flights to Fort Lauderdale (FLL), New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX), Orlando (MCO), and Oakland (OAK) in the U.S., and Bangkok (BKK) and Krabi (KBV) in Thailand, but all are being dropped according to airline spokesperson, Andrew Lindström.

Lindström explained the decision in a statement: “The demand for transatlantic travel to and from the Nordics is limited compared to larger European markets and not sufficient enough to justify a large nonstop intercontinental  operation out of three Scandinavian cities: Oslo, Stockholm, and Copenhagen.” However, he did say that all seven routes to/from Oslo, the location of the airline’s headquarters, will continue to operate in 2020.

Low demand is not the only thing provoking these changes but also continued technical issues with the Rolls-Royce engines on their fleet of 787s. Senior Vice President of Norwegian, Matthew Wood, explained that “these challenges left more aircraft on the ground, affecting the route program.”

Recovery Plan

The changes to Norwegian’s route structure are all part of a recovery plan to dig out of debt and turn a profit. The grounding of the 737 MAX 8 jets and the continued engine problems have contributed to high expenses and operational costs, but the route changes are expected to cut costs and generate more revenue. Furthermore, the airline has postponed its order of A320neo and A321LR aircraft, reducing its capital expenditure by $570 million.

New Routes

Although Norwegian is ending Nordic routes, it’s doubling down on larger European cities with higher demand. New routes include service between Austin and Chicago to Paris and Denver and Chicago to Rome. Lindström explained the airline’s evolving network, “As Norwegian moves from growth to profitability, we take  a strict approach to route management and continue to constantly evaluate route performance to ensure we meet customer demand.”

Have a Flight Booked to Copenhagen or Stockholm?

According to Simple Flying, March 29th will mark the end of Norwegian’s Stockholm and Copenhagen long-haul operations. If you have a flight booked beyond that date, be sure to call the airline at (800) 357-4159 to discuss your options.

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