Bad news for Montrealers: the low cost airline, Norwegian, has just announced that it will stop serving the Caribbean from the United States and Canada… including Montreal.
The end of Montreal – Pointe-à-Pitre / Montreal – Fort-de-France by Norwegian
The low-cost airline, Norwegian, had decided a few months ago to attack the Caribbean market from several North American cities:
- Montreal YUL
- New York JFK
- Fort Lauderdale FLL
Except that this company is facing very serious financial difficulties, like other low cost companies before it that serve (or were supposed to serve) Montreal:
- Primera Air(which went bankrupt)
- WOW Air (which is trying to restructure itself by cutting many destinations)
Close to bankruptcy, Norwegian saw the Norwegian state come to its rescue via the public bank DNB Bank.
Despite intense promotional campaigns with very low cost tickets, it seems that this was not enough: Norwegian has therefore decided to cease all operations to the Caribbean from Canada (Montreal) and the United States (New York / Fort Lauderdale) at the end of the winter season (end of March 2019).
A spokeswoman for the company, Marion Lamure, explained to RCI that these flights were not profitable.
A commercial decision has been taken not to renew our seasonal operations in the Caribbean. We realize that we have not achieved the desired profitability. The planes were not full in both directions or we would not have stopped the activities. We have seen an evolution in terms of load factors, notably the interest of Americans for the Caribbean, but these operations are not profitable enough, given that the company has launched a cost reduction plan.
Low-cost airlines have a hard time competing with established airlines such as Air Canada, Air Canada Rouge, Air Transat or WestJet, or others specializing in this type of service such as Sunwing. One could say that the Canadian airport taxes do not help… but here the company rather invokes planes which did not have a sufficient fill rate. A saturated market?