Norwegian Air is cutting some Ireland-Scandinavia flights as it pursues profitability

It will stop flying from Dublin to Helsinki and temporarily end Copenhagen services.

By Conor McMahon Deputy editor, Fora

NORWEGIAN AIR SHUTTLE has confirmed that it will cut back some services between Dublin and Scandinavia as part of a wider restructuring of the airline’s short-haul network.

The airline will end flights between Dublin and Helsinki in Finland on 27 October. It will shelve services between the Irish capital and Copenhagen, Denmark, on the same date for the winter. That route is expected to return next summer.

A spokesman for Norwegian confirmed the decision to cull the services and told Fora the move is ”part of a wider restructuring of our short-haul network to help ensure we can return to profitability”. 

Flights from Dublin to Oslo-Gardermoen and Stockholm-Arlanda are not affected.

The airline recently ended all transatlantic routes from Ireland. It had operated low-fare services between the Dublin, Cork and Shannon and the east coast of America and Canada. Last year, it stopped transatlantic flights from Edinburgh and Belfast.

As previously explained by Fora, Norwegian Air has come under increased pressure after its aggressive expansion plans were impacted by the ongoing grounding of the Boeing 737 Max aircraft. The airline encountered further difficulties when its 787 Dreamliners were grounded for engine repairs.

The company has faced mounting pressure from investors to prioritise profitability over rapid growth. Earlier this year, it raised 3 billion Norwegian kroner (around €303 million) from shareholders and replaced its chief executive and chairman.

Bondholders agreement

A majority of bondholders this week agreed to a deal that will delay the repayment of more than $380 million in outstanding debts for up to two years. Norwegian’s acting chief executive, Geir Karlsen, said the decision “will give us added financial headroom going forward”.

“The company’s operational performance continues to improve, and we are on track to reach the targeted cost-reductions of two billion NOK ($222.7 million) in 2019,” Karlsen said yesterday.

Norwegian Air Shuttle reported a net loss of 1.4 billion Norwegian kroner (€144.6 million) and operating revenue of 20.1 billion Norwegian kroner (€2 million) for the first half of 2019.

Separately, Cathay Pacific announced last week that it is shelving services from Dublin between November and March 2020 following disruption caused by anti-government protests in Hong Kong. Chinese carrier Hainan Airline is also axing its Dublin-Shenzhen service and putting its flights to Beijing on ice.

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