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Less than one year after Norwegian Air launched transatlantic service from three new, smaller airports on the East Coast, the company says it’s cutting one of the airports altogether. On Tuesday, the low-cost carrier announced that as of March 25, 2018, it’s suspending its only nonstop flight out of Hartford’s Bradley International Airport (BDL), which offered service to Edinburgh (EDI) on its Boeing 737 aircraft.
Following the news that the Scottish government postponed a reduction on air passenger taxes, Norwegian issued a statement about the reduction in frequency to EDI — including eliminating it altogether from BDL. In full, Norwegian said:
“Following Norwegian’s launch of affordable transatlantic routes from the US to Edinburgh last year, the prospect of a reduction in air passenger taxes meant we had been planning for continued future growth to Scotland. However, the postponement of such reduction was therefore deeply disappointing and has led us to reduce capacity to Scotland, including cutting the Hartford service and reducing frequencies from other US airports.”
In the announcement, Norwegian said that it would reconsider the choice to reduce frequencies to Scotland if the government wants to rethink its air passenger taxes. If Scotland does reduce the air passenger taxes, Norwegian says that the move would open up more low-cost options.
“Whilst this route cut means that Norwegian will currently not be offering any service to/from Bradley International Airport, the airline is continuously reviewing other opportunities in Hartford as we have seen great potential in this market,” Norwegian said.
For both Newburgh (SWF) and Providence (PVD), which also operate to EDI, Norwegian is reducing frequencies in lieu of eliminating service altogether. The cut in weekly frequency between PVD and EDI is due to the same Scottish air passenger tax decision. We’ve reviewed Norwegian’s transatlantic 737 service and found it to be adequate for the relatively quick jump across the pond, but it remains to be seen if passengers will continue flying these single-aisle aircraft or whether they’ll begin to drift back towards larger airports that feature flights with larger widebody aircraft.
In addition, Norwegian has announced that it’s suspending service on its route between Providence (PVD) and Bergen (BGO), as the route is not performing well. Instead, it will allocate those 2x weekly flights to double its frequency to Shannon, Ireland (SNN). Beginning this summer, Norwegian will operate 4x weekly service between PVD and SNN.
For both the EDI cuts in service, as well as the BGO service ending from PVD, Norwegian said that it’s informed passengers who were affected and offered alternative flights or full refunds if they wish to cancel their reservation.
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