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Cheap Flights From The Hudson Valley to Europe Are Being Grounded

Norwegian air press release
Norwegian air press release

Inexpensive airfare from the Hudson Valley to Ireland is stopping in the very near future.

Norwegian Air began flying out of Stewart International Airport in Newburgh in June 2017. The airline offered non-stop flights from the Hudson Valley, for a relatively cheap price, to a number of European destinations.

The airline stopped flying to and from Edinburgh, Scotland in March 2019 due to an air passenger tax that was postponed by the Scottish Government, according to the airline.

On Tuesday, the company announced they are grounding all flights between Ireland and North America, including New York Stewart International Airport, on Sept. 15.

“As the airline moves from growth to profitability, we have conducted a comprehensive review of our transatlantic operations between Ireland and North America and considering the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, we have concluded that these routes are no longer commercially viable,” the company said in a press release.

Norwegian said the main factor is the global grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX planes.

“Compounded by the global grounding of the 737 MAX and the continued uncertainty of its return to service, this has led us to make the difficult decision to discontinue all six routes from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to the US and Canada,” the company said. “Since March, we have tirelessly sought to minimize the impact on our customers by hiring (wet-leasing) replacement aircraft to operate services between Ireland and North America. However, as the return to service date for the 737 MAX remains uncertain, this solution is unsustainable.”

Boeing 737 Max planes have been grounded since March, following two crashes that killed nearly 350 people.

It’s unclear how the news will impact New York Stewart International Airport which saw passenger volume increased 60% in 2017, mostly due to Norwegian Air.

“I’m very concerned what impact the discontinuation of Norwegian Air’s service at Stewart International Airport will have on our local economy. The issues surrounding the Boeing 737 Max need to be thoroughly resolved, and we need to get these planes safely back in the air before more damage is done to our local airports and airlines. I’m working with the Transportation Committee to get to the bottom of this,” Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney said.

In Feb. 2018, it was announced Stewart International Airport was being renamed New York Stewart International Airport. The name change was part of a $37 million initiative to improve the airport. The $37 million upgrades include modernizing the airport and a 20,000 square foot permanent U.S. Customs inspection area to better handle the soaring number of international passengers.

“Norwegian Air’s arrival to Stewart Airport two years ago was received with excitement and the carrier performed well in Orange County,” Orange County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus said. “Norwegian proved that Stewart Airport is a viable option for international flights and the airport will continue the construction of a new customs facility. With attractions in Orange County such as LEGOLAND and Woodbury Common, having an International carrier here is a natural fit. I will continue to work with the Port Authority to attract respected carriers to Stewart Airport.”

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