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Norwegian to axe Edinburgh-Hartford route

Norwegian has disclosed plans to end its transatlantic service between Edinburgh and Hartford later this year, citing the Scottish government's failure to reduce air taxes.

The Scandinavian airline notes that when it began operating the route in June 2017 there was the "prospect" that Scotland's government would cut air passenger duty (APD) this year.

In October 2017, however, Scotland's finance secretary Derek Mackay told parliament that securing EU approval for continuing to exempt Highlands and Islands airports from air tax would delay the whole process of reducing APD.

Norwegian says its Edinburgh-Hartford route will close on 25 March. The budget carrier is also reducing the frequencies of its services from the Scottish capital to Boston and New York, and redeploying capacity to other markets.

"We urge the Scottish government to quickly resurrect plans for a reduction in air passenger taxes which would reopen the door to more flights and lower fares for passengers and a boost to Scotland's connectivity," says the Oslo-based carrier.

FlightGlobal schedules data shows that Norwegian is the only airline operating flights between Hartford and Edinburgh. Aer Lingus will be the only airline operating long-haul flights to the US city from Europe once Norwegian withdraws. The Irish flag carrier serves Hartford from its Dublin base.

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