Norwegian Air recently announced its plans to offer lower-cost routes between the U.S. and Europe, intensifying the rivalry between other low cost airlines. Norwegian Air’s $85 flight is a one-way ticket from the UK or Ireland to New York, Hartford, and Providence in the U.S.
“I pay for what I want, you pay for what you want,” says Norwegian Air spokesperson Anders Lindström. “We don’t pay for what everybody else on the plane wants.”
Norwegian Air says that thousands of one-way tickets will be offered at £69, with costs of the next tier tickets starting at £79 ($99). In comparison, costs for a one-way ticket from New York to Dublin in June last year with other airlines ranged from about £527 ($655) to £2,217 ($2,755) based on the information presented by Bloomberg.
In order to keep costs at a minimum, Norwegian Air said that it will fly from smaller U.S. airports using narrow-bodied Boeing 737-MAX aircrafts, which will be delivered later in 2017. The planned U.S. destinations are Bradley International Airport in Hartford, Connecticut and Stewart International Airport in Orange County, New York, T.F. Green Airport in Providence, and Rhode Island.
Norwegian Air says that it will carry on with its services to fly wide-bodied Boeing 787 Dreamliners to bigger U.S. airports.
Norway’s most prominent international trading partners are Germany, UK, and Sweden. Financial website FXCM says that the value of the total exports of goods and services represent 38% of Norway’s annual GDP. Some experts say that Norwegian Air’s opening of cheaper flights to the U.S. will boost not only tourism but also trade since it will be much cheaper to bring in goods from Norway to the U.S. and vice versa.
The growing competition on transatlantic flights has prompted other European airlines to offer cheaper fares to travelers. Air France, for one, is pushing for low-cost flights in a project that they call ‘Boost’. On the other hand, German airliner Lufthansa will be expanding its long-haul budget flights through its Eurowings division of the company.
IAG, the owner of British Airways, says that they will also start to offer low-cost transatlantic flights from Barcelona in 2017. IAG’s CEO Willie Walsh added that the Norwegian carrier’s model had prompted IAG to look at new ways to offer their services.
The aggressive budget flights have allowed Norwegian Air to more than double its revenue since 2012. Last year, its revenue skyrocketed to 16% or 26 Billion Norwegian Crowns ($3.11 billion). The increase in demand for Norwegian Air tickets led to the company ordering 260 aircrafts from Boeing and Airbus, which the airliner will roll out over the course of the coming years.