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:


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.

3 thoughts on “Norwegian Poised For Largest Expansion Yet in 2018”

  1. henry LAX says:

    just to get it out of the way, i love DY as a disruptive market force while providing good value for money without overly resorting to ULCC tactics. I’ve flown them twice roundtrip across the Atlantic already and have bookings for another in Feb, so i’m not “DY-h8r” by any stretch.

    That said, i’ve been concerned about their sustainability, whether they’re real or just the rumor mill. Rarely have any airline expanded at such ridiculous pace (and with unusually thin feed on many of their European destinations, e.g. EDI) and have actually managed to create a long-term sustainable model (for reference, see Laker Airways or PeopleExpress)

    The last thing the Atlantic market needs is another promising venture going belly up and the 3 JVs return to their oligopoly pricing that has plagued the North Atlantic market for the earlier part of the decade. (Joon and LEVEL weren’t born out of fear that those purple WOW planes would steal a few backpackers here and there – they were both a panic responses to Norwegian)

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I have not flown as a passenger on an airplane operated by Norwegian yet, henry LAX; but I am considering doing that this summer…

      …and I cannot agree with you more, as what you wrote is well said.

    2. mark says:

      Yes very well said indeed. I’ve flown then rountrip fro LAX to Stockholm and from Madrid-London-LAX and my experience has been great actually. Just understand what you get for free and what you need to pay for. They really do offer great value for money and will definitely fly them again without hesitation. I am also concerned that they are growing way too rapidly but I’m hoping they know what they’re doing.

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