Norwegian Air to halt seasonal US Caribbean routes

Cash-strapped Norwegian will halt its seasonal routes
between the U.S. and the Caribbean at the end of this winter season. 

The carrier flies to Guadeloupe and Martinique from New York
Kennedy and Fort Lauderdale. 

“While our routes to Guadeloupe and Martinique have
performed fairly well, with cost-cutting measures as a priority and aircraft
utilization in focus, it is not financially sustainable as a European airline
to move operations each winter season — aircraft, pilots and cabin crew —
from Europe to these islands,” Norwegian spokesman Anders Lindstrom said
in an email Tuesday. 

The routes will end on March 31, as had been scheduled, but
won’t resume next October.  

Norwegian launched Caribbean service in 2015. The airline also
flies to Guadeloupe and Martinique from Montreal and from the French Guiana
capital of Cayenne.

The discount airline is best known in the U.S. for its
substantial transatlantic network. However, after years of rapid growth, the
carrier is cutting costs and optimizing its network in order to reverse a
$170.3 million loss in 2018.  

Last month, Norwegian also said that it would shore up its
balance sheet with an infusion of $353 million. The company will raise the
money through a rights issue, in which shareholders are granted the right to
buy new stock at a discount. 

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