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Norwegian ups transatlantic 737 capacity this winter

Norwegian will increase seat capacity on its transatlantic Boeing 737 Max routes this winter, even as it consolidates service on some US routes.

The Oslo-based carrier will carry 34.6% more weekly seats on routes that connect Dublin, Edinburgh and Shannon to New York Stewart and Providence in the USA during the period starting 28 October and ending in spring 2019, compared to last winter, it says.

Norwegian will increase frequency to twice daily between Dublin and Stewart, and to daily on the Dublin-Providence, Edinburgh-Stewart and Shannon-Stewart routes. All of the flights will be flown with 189-seat 737 Max 8 aircraft.

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“Consumers can now benefit from more high-quality flights to the USA this winter as we focus on boosting services that reflect strong passenger demand," says Thomas Ramdahl, chief commercial officer of Norwegian, in a statement.

At the same time, Norwegian will suspend service on five routes: Belfast-Stewart, Bergen-Stewart, Edinburgh-Providence and Shannon-Providence. It will still operate those routes this summer through October.

Norwegian says it will "assess" whether to resume the suspended markets from Belfast and Cork in its summer 2019 schedule.

The airline launched transatlantic 737 flights in June 2017, introducing the 737-8 on the routes that July.

Ramdahl told FlightGlobal in February that most of the routes were "living up to our expectations". However, Norwegian dropped some routes, like Edinburgh-Hartford, due to the impact of the UK's air passenger duty, he said.

Norwegian plans to expand its narrowbody transatlantic flying in 2019 with the addition of its first Airbus A321LRs. Possible US destinations include Baltimore/Washington, Detroit, Philadelphia and Minneapolis/St Paul.

In addition, the carrier plans to launch service to Canada from Europe with either the A321LR or the 737-8 in 2019.

Updated to reflect once daily Dublin-Providence service, not twice daily as previously reported.

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