Norwegian Boosts Long-Haul Flight Offering

European budget carrier Norwegian has announced a major expansion of its long-haul route network with new connections to the United States from Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm.  Buoyed by the initial success of its long-haul business and the recent entry into service of its first Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the low-cost carrier is to add new routes between Scandinavia and Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlando from spring 2014 as well as adding a link to existing market, New York, from Copenhagen.

“I’m very happy to announce the launch of three new intercontinental destinations.  So far the response to our New York, Bangkok and Fort Lauderdale routes has been tremendous.  Most of our flights have been fully booked over the summer.”

Bjørn Kjos
Chief Executive Officer, Norwegian

“I’m very happy to announce the launch of three new intercontinental destinations.  The major traffic streams currently go between the US and Europe and there’s great demand for high quality flights at a low fare between the two continents,” said Bjørn Kjos, chief executive officer, Norwegian. 

Norwegian launched its long-haul programme in May this year, initially using wet-leased Airbus A340 equipment due to the delay in delivery of its initial 787s.  After initially using its first Dreamliner on its European network it introduced the type to its long-haul network at the start of September following the arrival of its second aircraft.  It currently offers flights from Oslo and Stockholm to Bangkok and New York and will be introducing links to Fort Lauderdale from all three Scandinavian capitals from the end of November 2013 or start of December 2013.

“So far the response to our New York, Bangkok and Fort Lauderdale routes has been tremendous.  Most of our flights have been fully booked over the summer.  Our offer has not only been well received by Scandinavian passengers travelling to the US or Asia, but also Asians and Americans going to Scandinavia and beyond,” added Kjos.

The arrival of additional 787s next year will enable this latest growth.  From Stockholm Arlanda, Norwegian will introduce a twice weekly link to Los Angeles from March 2, 2014, increasing to three times weekly from April 30, 2014, and a twice weekly service to Oakland International Airport, serving the Greater San Francisco market, from May 3, 2014.  At Oslo Gardermoen a three times weekly service to Oakland will begin from May 28, 2014, a twice weekly connection to Orlando International will follow from May 29, 2014 and a weekly link to Los Angeles from June 1, 2014. 

Meanwhile, the Danish capital, Copenhagen, will join Oslo and Stockholm in being linked to New York with a twice weekly offering from February 28, 2014, increasing to four times weekly from April 30, 2014.  This will be added to with a twice weekly service to Los Angeles from March 1, 2014, with a third rotation following from May 1, 2014.  With the exception of the Copenhagen – New York route, none of Norwegian’s new route pairs are currently served on a non-stop basis.

In the table below we highlight the largest carriers between Scandinavia and US in 2012, based on MIDT data.  SAS Scandinavian Airlines dominated the market with a 32.6 per cent share of the O&D demand but Norwegian is sure to now rival the flag carrier with its own low-cost offering.

LARGEST AIR CARRIERS BETWEEN SCANDINAVIA AND UNITED STATES (bi-directional O&D passengers; 2012)

Rank

Airline

Estimated O&D Passengers

% Total Demand

1

SAS Scandinavian Airlines (SK)

906,986

32.6 %

2

United Airlines (UA)

299,719

10.8 %

3

Delta Air Lines (DL)

274,615

9.9 %

4

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL)

254,290

9.1 %

5

Lufthansa (LH)

205,035

7.4 %

6

British Airways (BA)

199,525

7.2 %

7

Icelandair (FI)

127,262

4.6 %

8

Air France (AF)

96,902

3.5 %

9

American Airlines (AA)

87,731

3.2 %

10

Continental Airlines (CO)

84,972

3.1 %

TOTAL

2,783,891

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