Boeing fallout widens for travel firms

Pádraig Hoare Cork and Shannon passengers flying to the US east coast with Norwegian Air International airlines next month will have to be bussed to Dublin for a second week running, the airline has said.

Boeing fallout widens for travel firms

Cork and Shannon passengers flying to the US east coast with Norwegian Air International airlines next month will have to be bussed to Dublin for a second week running, the airline has said.

Norwegian had said in response to the suspension of Boeing 737 Max planes by European aviation authorities, which are used on its Cork and Shannon routes to the US, that it would transport passengers by bus to Dublin, where they will fly on different Boeing aircraft.

Originally the affected flights were from Shannon from April 1-10, and Cork flights from April 2-9. The firm said when the first batch of flights were affected that it was “actively working on more permanent measures” to operate normal services from April 11.

However, it has now confirmed that, as it currently stands, the bussing to Dublin arrangement will remain in place beyond April 10. Despite no aircraft being available for the Cork and Shannon passengers, Norwegian is to begin its Dublin-Toronto route tomorrow.

Shares in Norwegian, which is estimated to be losing out on up to €1.5m a day during the Boeing crisis fell more than 5.5% in Oslo. The firm has 18 of the grounded 737 Max aircraft in its fleet, and has asked Boeing for compensation.

A spokesman said: “We have a good dialogue with Boeing and we’re confident to reach a constructive agreement.”

Boeing has been under intense scrutiny after two 737 Max crashes since October killed 346 people.

The initial findings of a probe into the Ethiopian Airlines crash suggest a malfunction of the same system as in the Lion Air disaster in Indonesia in October, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing findings from the plane’s flight data. Travel giant TUI warned that the grounding of the aircraft will cut its profit.

TUI is the biggest 737 Max operator in Europe after Norwegian, with 15 of the planes in its fleet of 150 aircraft. Eight more of the jets were scheduled for delivery by the end of May.

Shares in the Anglo-German firm plunged as much as 11% after it warned full-year profit will take a €200m hit should its 737 Max fleet remain grounded until July.

Stuart Gordon, an equities analyst at Berenberg, said: “I fully expect they will try and get compensation from Boeing as was the case with the Dreamliner issue in 2013. The question will be how much.”

Worldwide groundings of the 737 Max have struck a major blow to Boeing, which has lost billions of dollars in market value since the grounding of the planemaker’s largest seller.

Additional reporting by Bloomberg

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