Norwegian Air to Operate Four New Transatlantic Routes in 2018

Norwegian continues to expand its network of transatlantic flights between the United States and Europe with its announcement that the following four new routes will be added in 2018, serviced with brand-new Boeing 787-9 “Dreamliner” aircraft:

  • Amsterdam to New York, starting on Monday, May 7, 2018 and operating four times per week
  • Los Angeles to Milan, starting on Monday, June 18, 2018 and operating three times per week
  • Los Angeles to Madrid, starting on Monday, July 16, 2018 and operating four times per week
  • New York to Madrid, starting on Wednesday, July 18, 2018 and operating four times per week

Norwegian Air to Operate Four New Transatlantic Routes in 2018

Introductory airfares will start from €199.00 each way for the Amsterdam to New York flight route; and from $229.00 one way in the economy class cabin for the other three flight routes. The lowest fares for travel in the premium cabin from Amsterdam to New York will start at €539.00 one-way; New York to Madrid will start at $649.00 one way; Los Angeles to Madrid will start at $729.00 one way; and Los Angeles to Milan will start at $739.00 one way. All airfares include taxes.

Norwegian will be the only airline operating year-round nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Madrid and Milan. To support the continuous growth of the airline, a flight crew base — comprised of 150 members of cabin flight crews and the fourth one in the United States — will be established at Los Angeles International Airport during the first quarter of 2018.

Norwegian is the only foreign airline recruiting American pilots to be based in the United States; and — according to Norwegian — it has more members of cabin flight crews based in the United States than any other airline.

Norwegian now offers 61 nonstop transatlantic routes to 16 European destinations. The airline now offers nonstop year-round routes to more European destinations from both the greater New York metropolitan area and greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Also previously announced are the following flights and their initial launch schedules in 2018:

  • Oakland to Rome — Tuesday, February 6, 2018
  • Newark to Paris — Wednesday, February 28, 2018
  • Chicago to London — Sunday, March 25, 2018
  • Austin to London — Tuesday, March 27, 2018
  • Denver to Paris — Monday, April 9, 2018
  • Oakland to Paris — Tuesday, April 10, 2018
  • Boston to Paris — Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Controversies

Back in October of 2013, an announcement from Norwegian Air Shuttle proclaimed that the airline would launch service between Gatwick Airport south of London and three destinations located in the United States — New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale — as of July of 2014 using Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft for as little as $150.00 each way.

A temporary setback was dealt to Norwegian Air Shuttle back in September of 2014 when its request was rejected to immediately operate flights to the United States as Norwegian Air International while the airline awaited a permanent decision by the federal government on its application.

Members of the Air Line Pilots Association, International were concerned that the flights by Norwegian Air Shuttle presented a threat to the aviation industry in the United States because they allegedly would undercut the airfares of carriers based in the United States by as much as 50 percent on comparable routes.

The Department of Transportation of the United States issued a show cause order concerning Norwegian Air International in April of 2016 — meaning that the ultra-low-cost carrier received tentative approval to add more flights to the United States. This action only added fuel to the controversy, as strong opinions emanated from both sides of the issue.

The increasingly vociferous controversy over Norwegian Air International expanding service to the United States had significantly intensified with two new developments in May of 2016 — one of them in which the duration of the open comment period seeking input from the public had been extended by ten days; and the other with which four members of the House of Representatives of the United States introduced a strongly-worded bipartisan bill to block that aforementioned decision. That temporary exemption was ultimately denied by the Department of Transportation in July of 2016.

The Irish subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle was granted flying rights with a foreign air carrier permit due to an order which was released from the Department of Transportation of the United States at the end of the day on Friday, December 2, 2016 — and that decision further exacerbated the controversy between factions of the ongoing debate pertaining to the validity of permitting the airline to serve the United States with low airfares…

…but for a number of reasons — especially due to the airports which are served by Norwegian — that controversy might have been overblown at the time.

Summary

The latest announcement of new routes almost seems as though Norwegian is shooting over the bows of both the SkyTeam and oneworld alliances with the Amsterdam to New York and the New York to Madrid routes respectively…

…and if that is indeed perceived to be the case, look for airfares to possibly be decreased on those flight routes by competing legacy carriers — but they will likely be in the form of basic economy airfares, which do not allow for seat assignments in advance and fees for checked baggage as only some of the restrictions with that type of airfare.

I intend to write an article in the future pertaining to the pervasiveness of basic economy airfares to international flights…

Source: Norwegian Air Shuttle.

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