Why One Airline Won’t Fly to Las Vegas Next Summer
Norwegian Air announced it will no longer operate summer flights to Las Vegas—because it is just too darn hot.
Starting March 25 next year, Norwegian Air is cancelling all of its flights to Las Vegas through November, citing the city’s high summer temperatures.
Any time the temperatures rises above 104°F, Norwegian Air is forced to ground flights out of Las Vegas McCarran airport, the airline said. In 2016, this happened 60 times.
When it’s hot out, the air thins and planes require a longer runway to take off. In normal conditions, there is only one runway at McCarran capable of accommodating Norwegian’s 787. When temperatures peak, even this runway is not long enough.
To combat this, Norwegian Air could implement weight controls—limiting the amount of passengers and cargo allowed onboard the plane. But because they are a budget airline, cutting passengers would cut too deeply into their profit margin.
The airline operates direct flights between Las Vegas and London Gatwick, Oslo, Stockholm, and Copenhagen.
The flights to and from Europe on Norwegian Air were fairly full. A spokesperson for Las Vegas airport told Las Vegas Review-Journal that “flights from Las Vegas to Stockholm were at 92.5 percent capacity through Oct. 31, while flights to Copenhagen were running at 81.6 percent.”
The odd thing about the cancellation is how long it lasts. Las Vegas’s typical temperatures don’t start to climb above 100° until at least June. And the triple-digit temperature drops back down at the end of summer.
Customers who had booked flights on Norwegian from March through November should contact the airline for either a refund or to rebook to a different city.
However, Norwegian Air said the summer cancellation is not a permanent policy. “We really want to fix this situation,” a spokesperson for the airline said. “We hope to have a solution for 2018 and beyond.”