Norwegian Air to reduce winter flight schedule, mum on takeover story

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There’s a lot to be said for Ireland in the summer.

At least that’s what Norwegian Air has discovered after initiating flights to Belfast, Cork, Dublin and Shannon.

The downside is that Ireland hasn’t become a winter getaway and, in response to sparse traffic, Norwegian has announced a seasonally adjusted schedule to Cork and Shannon as well as Edinburgh, Scotland beginning in October 2018 and running through next March.

"In order to better focus on profitability, Norwegian has decided to seasonally adjust certain routes, including service from Providence to Edinburgh, Cork and Shannon, as well as Stewart/New York to Belfast. These routes will operate the summer 2018 season, but not during the quieter winter period due to lower demand,” the airline said in a release.

Anders Lindstrom, Norwegian Director of Communications, USA, said the summer 2018 season is already in operation and will continue through October 2018. During this season, Norwegian will operate 17 weekly departures to five destinations from Providence: Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Edinburgh and Shannon.

During winter 2019 season, Norwegian will continue to operate daily Providence-Dublin service. Belfast was already a summer season route out of PVD.

Lindstrom was not free to discuss whether the airline intends to make Green a service center for its aircraft, as had been suggested when Norwegian started flights here. Likewise, he would not comment on a story appearing April 12 in the Irish Times that Aer Lingus owner IAG is considering a bid for Norwegian. According to that report, a potential deal could value Norwegian at about $3 billion including debt.

In regards to IAG, Lindstrom released the following statement: “Norwegian was made aware that the International Airline Group (IAG) had acquired 4.6 percent of the shares in Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA Thursday morning, European time. Norwegian had no prior knowledge of this acquisition before it was reported by the media mid-morning Thursday. Norwegian has not been in any discussions or dialogue with IAG about the matter. Norwegian believes that interest from one of the largest international aviation groups demonstrates the sustainability and potential of our business model and global growth.”

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