Norse Atlantic Airways offers cheap flights from Gatwick to New York

Norse Atlantic Airways has started selling tickets for flights between London and New York as the low-cost carrier seeks market share on one of the world’s busiest long-haul routes.

Return fares for journeys between London’s Gatwick and John F Kennedy International Airport will start at £255 ($322), including tax, the airline said. Daily flights on the route begin August 12 using Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Norse Atlantic will offer daily service, with other US destinations to be announced soon, the company said.

The airline, whose maiden flight is scheduled for Oslo-New York on June 14, hopes to succeed where Norwegian Air failed, by offering transatlantic flights at economy fares after securing cheap leases during the pandemic.

It operates a fleet of 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, although four of these aircraft are currently sub-leased to Spain’s Air Europa.

While the favorable terms of its leases and the fuel efficiency of its modern aircraft should give it a cost advantage, the question is whether it can fill the planes and generate enough revenue to be profitable.

“It’s always a bit risky when you’re in the airline business, but we think it’s a good time,” chief executive Bjoern Tore Larsen told Reuters.

Mr. Larsen, an aviation enthusiast and the company’s largest shareholder, made his fortune in the shipping industry and controls the ship management group OSM Maritime.

The United States is his favorite travel destination and he believes there is massive demand for budget travel between Europe and North America.

“We’re pretty sure we’ll fill those planes with Americans going to Europe and Europeans going to America,” he said.

Norwegian operated low-cost transatlantic flights but halted long-haul operations in January 2021 after heavy losses.

The company was founded by Bjorn Kjos, who stepped down as chief executive in July 2019 and owns a minority stake in Norse.

Mr Larsen said: “We are very pleased to now be able to welcome customers looking to book quality flights between London Gatwick and New York JFK.

“Customers now have an affordable option to book last-minute travel or an unforgettable vacation with an airline that offers choice and flexibility.”

The launch of Nordic flights from Gatwick will be a major boost for West Sussex airport, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.

It closed one of its two terminals between June 2020 and March due to collapsing passenger numbers.

Gatwick Chief Executive Stewart Wingate said: “We are delighted to welcome Norse Atlantic Airways to Gatwick.

“It’s always great to see a new line up on the airfield, but the arrival of a new airline after the past two turbulent years for the industry, and which will provide fantastic long haul connections across the Atlantic, is particularly exciting news.

“Passengers across London and the South East will now be able to take advantage of another transatlantic service from Gatwick, Norse offering great value for those heading for a dream vacation or an important business trip to New York. , one of the most famous and dynamic cities.”

Power network

As a pure long-haul player, Norse Atlantic does not have connecting service from regional routes, which could make it difficult to sell seats beyond major routes such as London-New York, said James Halstead, managing partner of consultancy firm Aviation Strategy.

“Very little [long-haul] roads around the world survive on pure O&D traffic,” Halstead said, referring to traffic from a single origin to a single destination.

Norwegian Air is however in talks with Norse to see if schedules could align for it to act as a feeder service, Norwegian Air chief executive Geir Karlsen said.

“If we can collaborate on certain fronts on destinations, we will be happy to do so,” he said.

Mr Larsen said he plans to introduce flights from Paris to the United States this summer.

Updated: May 29, 2022, 04:54

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