Norwegian Poised For Largest Expansion Yet in 2018
The rapid expansion of Norwegian continues in 2018 with many new destinations to be served with transatlantic flights by the growing low-cost airline — as well as increased frequencies of existing routes.
Norwegian Poised For Largest Expansion Yet in 2018
Additionally, a new enhanced premium class cabin will be introduced this year; and access to Wi-Fi will be available during long-haul flights. Norwegian is currently the only airline to offer free inflight Wi-Fi on flights between the United Kingdom and greater than 30 destinations in Europe.
Already the third-largest low-cost carrier in Europe as a result of launching a minimum of 15 routes last year and transporting 5.8 million passengers from the United Kingdom and Ireland to greater than 50 destinations worldwide, Norwegian revealed the details of its new long-haul routes.
Direct Service Between New York and Amsterdam
The first flight of air travel from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York is expected to occur on Monday, May 7, 2018 using brand new Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft, which marks the launch of its first direct transatlantic route from the Netherlands to the United States.
The airfare will start from €199.00 each way; and the frequency of this flight will be four times per week.
The airline already operates direct flights to Copenhagen, Helsinki, Oslo and Stockholm from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.
Starting on Monday, May 7, 2018 and every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday thereafter, the flight will depart from Amsterdam at 12:25 in the afternoon Central European Time and arrive in New York at 2:25 in the afternoon Eastern Time on the same day.
Conversely, the flight will depart from New York at 6:30 in the evening Eastern Time every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and arrive in Amsterdam the next morning at 7:30 Central European Time.
Premium cabin fares to New York City start at €539.00 one-way — including taxes — if you would rather not fly as a passenger in a seat in the economy class cabin.
New Service to Milan and Madrid
Introductory airfares will start at $229.00 one way in the economy class cabin for all three flight routes. The lowest fares for travel in the premium cabin from 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.
The following three new routes will be serviced with brand-new Boeing 787-9 “Dreamliner” aircraft:
- 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
New Service to Buenos Aires
New direct service between London Gatwick Airport and Buenos Aires is expected to launch on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 as the first flight route to South America for Norwegian.
The frequency of flights will be four times per week using Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” aircraft.
Fares are expected to start at £299.00 each way.
New Service to Chicago
Daily flights between London Gatwick Airport and Chicago is expected to launch on Sunday, March 25, 2018.
Fares are expected to start at £149.90 each way.
New Service to Austin
New direct service between London Gatwick Airport and Austin is expected to launch on Tuesday, March 27, 2018 and operate at a frequency of three times per week.
Fares are expected to start at £164.90 each way.
Increased Service to Boston, Oakland and Los Angeles
Service to Boston will increase from five weekly flights to a daily service, with fares starting from £134.90 each way.
Moreover, plans are underway to increase service to Oakland to a daily service; and additional flights are planned to Los Angeles, with departures twice per day on select days of the week.
The increase in frequencies of service are expected to occur during the spring of 2018. Click here for the latest news and updates on flights operated by Norwegian.
New Enhanced Premium Class Cabin
Norwegian will introduce an expanded Premium cabin which will have 60% more seats for passengers wanting an enhanced experience. The new 56 seat cabin configuration will offer passengers more than a metre of legroom and 11” Panasonic monitors providing hours of complimentary inflight entertainment. The new cabin will be fitted on Norwegian’s final 20 787 Dreamliner orders set for delivery from February onwards.
Access to Wi-Fi on Long-Haul Routes
Norwegian will add 11 Boeing 787 Dreamliners to its fleet in 2018 which are exclusively used on long-haul routes from Gatwick. 10 of these new aircraft will feature the enhanced Premium cabin. Meanwhile 12 new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft will land in Norwegian’s fleet this year to service the carrier’s great value transatlantic flights from Edinburgh, Belfast and Ireland to the US east coast. Later in 2018, Norwegian will begin to rollout inflight Wi-Fi on long-haul routes that will keep passengers connected in the skies.
Growth is Not Without Controversy
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. It 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.
The rapid expansion of Norwegian is not without controversy, as strong opposition to the growth of the airline back in 2016 was due to concerns pertaining to the low-cost carrier having an unfair advantage over airlines based in the United States — but that was before the concept of Basic Economy airfares was to be considered for international flights, as will be the case with Singapore Airlines and the introduction of its Economy Lite product this month.
Additionally, investors are concerned that the airline is growing too rapidly. “The fast-growing group has become a disruptive force within the European airline industry over the past few years, leading the charge in bringing down the cost of long-haul flying and forcing rivals to respond with their own budget services”, according to this article written by Tanya Powley and Richard Milne for Financial Times. “The speed of its expansion is putting pressure on costs. Analysts point to a poor summer, with Norwegian reporting a 6 per cent rise in unit costs for the third quarter. That followed a dismal second-quarter cost performance, with an operating loss of NKr863m ($104m).”
Articles which track the history of the controversy of Norwegian Air Shuttle serving the United States include:
- Is the Controversy Over Norwegian Air Shuttle Overblown?
- Flying Rights Granted to Subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle — But What Exactly Does That Mean?
- Norwegian Air Shuttle Denied Temporary Exemption by the Department of Transportation
- Bill Introduced to Stop Decision to Allow Expansion of Norwegian Air Service in the United States
- Should Norwegian Air Be Approved to Add More Flights to the United States? Your Chance to Be Heard
- Rejected: Norwegian Air Shuttle Bid for Flights Between Europe and the United States — But…
- Would You Purchase Tickets for No-Frills International Flights From Legacy Carriers?
Norwegian is willing to take risks in tapping into a market which its management believes it can dominate and win: by offering lower airfares on transatlantic routes while simultaneously putting pricing pressure on competing airlines — and at this time, the passengers appear to be the winners as a result of this strategy.
Has the nightmare come true for those who opposed the growth of Norwegian?
All prices of fares are based on the lowest available fare per person — which can be found using this low fare calendar — and include all mandatory taxes, charges and fees. Seats are subject to availability.
Also previously announced are the following flights and their initial launch schedules in 2018:
- Oakland/San Francisco to Rome — February 6, 2018
- New York/Newark to Paris — February 28, 2018
- Chicago to London — March 25, 2018
- Austin to London — March 27, 2018
- Denver to Paris — April 9, 2018
- Oakland/San Francisco to Paris — April 10, 2018
- Boston to Paris — May 2, 2018
Source: Norwegian Air Shuttle.