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Norwegian 737 MAX pictured in Dublin (photo: Norwegian)

Norwegian opens its first route to Canada

The low-cost long-haul carrier has finally announced the start of its first flights to Canada – in a highly competitive market.

Norwegian is launching its first route to Canada, starting on March 31 next year. The new daily service between Dublin and Hamilton-Toronto will be the first direct flight between the two cities.

John C Munro Hamilton International Airport, named after a former Canadian politician, is about 80 kilometres from downtown Toronto and is one of four airports serving the city.

Norwegian was granted permission by the Canadian authorities in the spring to start commercial flights to Canada, but the operation failed to begin in the summer as planned. Instead it will start next spring.

Although Dublin has the privilege of getting the first Canadian route, Norwegian stresses that there are good connections to Dublin from Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm so that it will be possible for Scandinavian travellers to use the new route, reports.

It will be the new Boeing 737 MAX 8 with seating for 189 passengers that is tasked with making the 5,300 kilometre journey across the Atlantic.

“A year has passed since we launched our first transatlantic route with the Boeing 737 MAX, and we can see that demand is high,” says Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos.

“This is our very first route between Europe and Canada and we look forward to offering both new and existing customers on both sides of the Atlantic high quality at low prices aboard our new and therefore more environmentally friendly aircraft.”

Tough competition
But it is a very competitive market that Norwegian has engaged in, with four airlines already flying direct between Dublin and Toronto Pearson International Airport, located on the western edge of the city.

Aer Lingus and Air Canada fly daily between the two cities with their Airbus A330s, while Canada’s Air Transat flies five weekly flights with both the Airbus A330 and A310. Finally, there are flights three times a week with Ethiopian Airlines and its Boeing 777-200LR.

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