STEWART AIRPORT – Citing the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max jets that operated between New York Stewart following two fatal crashes on those jets flown by foreign airlines, Norwegian Air Tuesday announced it would terminate all fights from the Newburgh area airport in September.
Norwegian had been operating with a leased jumbo jet from Stewart since the 737 Maxes were grounded.
When the Max jets are recertified for operation, Norwegian spokesman Anders Lindstrom said it was “highly unlikely” that service would resume at Stewart.
Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus noted the airline “performed well in Orange County,” but acknowledged the safety issues of the Max 737 affected the decision to pull out.
“Norwegian proved that Stewart Airport is a viable option for international fights and the airport will continue the construction of a new customs facility,” he said. “With attractions in Orange County such as Legoland and Woodbury Common, having an international carrier here is a natural fit. I will continue to work with the Port Authority to attract respected carriers to Stewart Airport.”
Orange County Partnership President Maureen Halahan said Norwegian’s departure “opens the door wide for other international carriers that have shown great interest in Stewart.” With construction on the international arrivals addition to the Stewart terminal, Halahan said the airport is “positioned well for a quick recovery.”
All of the transatlantic routes originally served by the 737 Maxes are being discontinued.
Matthew Robert Wood, senior vice president for commercial long-hail and new markets for Norwegian, said the return date for the 737 Max jets remains uncertain and leasing replacement planes is a solution that is “unsustainable.”
Service aboard Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner jumbo jets will not be affected by this decision.