737-800, Norwegian, sale, sell, aircraft, planes, disposal, assets, performance, MAX, stats, March, on time, punctuality, passengers, capacity, costs, debt, Hamilton, Canada, Toronto, Dublin, transatlantic, route, flights, travel, tourism, visit, MAX, grounding
Norwegian 737-800 (photo: Norwegian)

“Soaring demand” for nearly stillborn Norwegian route

The airline’s new flights between Dublin and Toronto Hamilton almost didn’t happen because of the grounding of the 737 MAX.

Norwegian claims it is seeing “soaring demand” for its new route between Dublin and Toronto’s secondary Hamilton Airport, located about 65 kilometres southwest of the Canadian city.

The carrier launched the transatlantic services on March 31, its first to Canada, “offering consumers more choice and affordable access to Toronto and landmark attractions including Niagara Falls,” it said.

Just two weeks before the launch, the route had been under question, almost a victim of the grounding of Norwegian’s 18 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

But the service got back on track when Norwegian announced it had found a Boeing 737-800 to replace the MAX that was originally scheduled to handle the route, the Hamilton Spectator reported at the time.

High load factor
Since the launch, the airline says it has flown more than 5,000 passengers with an average load factor of 90% in April, the first month of operation.

“We’re seeing strong demand for our newest destination from Dublin as Hamilton offers a range of experiences that are still relatively new and undiscovered for Irish tourists,” said Matthew Wood, SVP long-haul commercial.

“I’m also particularly proud of delivering on our promise to customers by ensuring they could travel to and from Hamilton on a different aircraft type in response to the current 737 MAX challenges.”

Norwegian commenced transatlantic services from Dublin in July 2017, launching flights to New York Stewart International Airport and Providence-Boston Airport. The Hamilton route currently operates on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays and from July will fly three times weekly on the same days excluding Sunday.

Related stories

Norwegian delays disposals, leases planes, alters timetable

Norwegian ditches Singapore for Rio

Norwegian opens its first route to Canada