London – Las Vegas Route Scrapped By Norwegian

There is now confirmation that Norwegian will be dropping its seasonal service between London Gatwick and Las Vegas this winter. First launched in 2016, the route was intended to be a year-round operation but was then scaled back to just the winter season. According to Business Traveller, the reason for this was because of reports that the heat during summer in Las Vegas was the cause of “performance issues” for its Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Norwegian has combined 36 787-8s and -9s with 6 more -9s on the way. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Now, Norwegian Air has given confirmation that this service will not return for the 2019 winter season. Speaking to Business Traveller a spokesperson said:

“As Norwegian moves from growth to profitability, we have decided to discontinue our seasonal London-Las Vegas service following a comprehensive review of the route”.

787 engine issues

Norwegian’s long-haul operations have felt the impact of problems brought on by their Boeing 787 Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines. Their solution has been to wet lease several widebody aircraft.

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Norwegian Lease
An Evelop Airbus A330, leased by Norwegian. Photo: Evelop Airlines via Wikimedia

Cracks have been found in engine blades of the Dreamliner. These cracks, if undetected, would obviously be dangerous. As a result, many aircraft have been grounded while the flaw is rectified.

All 787 customers have the option of choosing between two types of engines: The Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines or the General Electric GEnx-1B option. In addition to Norwegian, other airlines like Air Austral, British Airways and Air New Zealand have also had their operations suffer due to the engine issue.

Norwegian has reached a deal with Rolls-Royce for compensation in the aftermath of this crisis.

Filling in the gap

So what airlines still fly direct between London and Las Vegas? Here is what’s available right now:

  • British Airways flies from London Gatwick on a Boeing 777-200 on flight BA2277. It also flies from London Heathrow on a Boeing 747-400 as flight BA275
  • Virgin Atlantic will fly from London Heathrow on a Boeing 787-9 on flight VS155. The flight was previously departing from London Gatwick but this change took place at the end of March.

Other Norwegian news

IAG has denied recent rumors and reports that it is launching another takeover bid for Norwegian. Photo: Flickr user tomasdelcoro

Earlier this week IAG had to deny that it had any plans for another takeover bid for Norwegian. This is despite what was reported in Spanish Newspaper, Okdiario. In recent months, there has been some intermittent speculation that IAG would make a move to acquire the low-cost carrier.

In other route news, the airline is celebrating the launch of its new route from New York JFK to Athens. This is the first direct flight the airline has run on this route, marking the 13th European destination from the New York area. The route commenced on July 2nd.

Finally, Norwegian Air has felt the impact of the Boeing 737 MAX crisis, with their 18 aircraft grounded and 92 future orders undeliverable. The airline has demanded compensation from Boeing but there has yet to be confirmation if this will take place.

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