Monday, January 24

New budget airline to fly from London to New York in 2022 | Air industry


New Norwegian long-haul low-cost carrier Norse Atlantic Airways has announced plans to fly between Europe and the US starting in early 2022 as it aims to fill the gap in cheap transatlantic air travel left by departure. Norwegian’s long-haul routes.

Norse, which was formed in March by veterans of the Norwegian airline industry, will initially fly from Oslo, London and Paris to New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale.

The airline’s chief executive, Bjørn Tore Larsen, said the airline intended to fly its entire fleet of 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners, with a Viking-inspired branding, by the summer of 2022.

The airline plans to start recruiting pilots and crews in late 2021, and expects to have around 1,600 employees by next summer, all of whom will be directly employed.

Norse initially expected to be airborne by the end of 2021, but Larsen said the slower-than-anticipated lifting of coronavirus travel restrictions for long-haul routes meant the airline was aiming to be operational in the second quarter of 2022. later than.

“We don’t want to start too early, it doesn’t make sense to fly with empty planes. Having said that, we have a very strong cash position, so we can afford to wait for a long period of time if necessary, ”Larsen told reporters, while introducing the airline’s logo, inspired by Viking ships.

The airline expects passenger demand to return in spring 2022 and said it expected to sell 10,000 tickets per day once its entire fleet is operational. Tickets will go on sale three months before your first flight.

Norwegian previously operated Norse’s leased jets, until it announced in January that it was downsizing to offer only short-haul European flights and Norwegian domestic routes, after its near collapse during the pandemic.

The crossing between compatriots does not end there. Larsen, Norse’s CEO and majority shareholder, was a co-founder of the staffing company OSM Aviation, which directly employed Norwegian crew members and was partially owned by the airline.

Meanwhile, Norwegian founder and former CEO Bjørn Kjos is also a shareholder in the airline, which debuted on the Oslo Stock Exchange in April.

Norse insists that it can succeed where others, including Norwegian, have failed. “We will be the only long-haul low-cost airline on the other side of the Atlantic and that will be our position, we will do nothing more than that,” Larsen said.

“Our typical traveler will not necessarily be the typical businessman who goes from A to B. It will be to a greater extent the family of four going on vacation to Florida, or a week to New York, or visiting friends and family, students. . Therefore, we will ensure that travel is affordable for more people than it is today. “

Aviation companies have been among the hardest hit by the slowdown in international travel during the pandemic and, unlike other sectors of the UK economy, air travel is still subject to coronavirus restrictions.

Despite this, Norse is optimistic that travel demand is picking up as restrictions ease, and said prospective passengers were regularly contacting him to ask when the airline would start flying.


www.theguardian.com

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