In its latest assault on the transatlantic market, Norwegian Air has unveiled details of its much-rumored plans to add a bunch of new low-fare routes to Europe from the northeastern U.S. this summer.
The airline said it will kick off service on 10 new routes, with one-way fares starting at $65, including taxes and government fees. That’s a total of 38 flights a week to four airports in Ireland and one in Scotland, all using the carrier’s new 737 MAX aircraft — a next-generation version of the single-aisle plane that has greater range and fuel efficiency.
The flights will operate out of Stewart Airport in Newburgh, N.Y. (about 60 miles up the Hudson from New York City); and from Providence, R.I. and Connecticut’s Bradley International near Hartford. Destinations include Cork, Shannon and Dublin in Ireland; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Edinburgh, Scotland.
Why the smaller U.S. airports? “These airports offer good access into the New York, Boston and New England areas but carry significantly lower landing charges, allowing Norwegian to offer some truly affordable fares that will allow as many people as possible to fly,” the company said.
Specifically, the schedule calls for service to Edinburgh starting June 15 from all three U.S. airports (daily from Stewart, four a week from Providence and three a week from Bradley); the only transatlantic non-stops into Belfast, beginning July 1 from Stewart (three flights a week) and Providence (two a week); the only transatlantic flights into Cork, starting July 1 from Providence (three flights a week); and service into Shannon and Dublin from Stewart and Providence, also starting July 1. The Shannon flights will operate twice weekly from both airports, while the Dublin schedule includes daily service from Stewart and five a week from Boston.
The new flights are already on sale. The $65 one-way fares are subject to capacity controls, and do not include separate charges for a variety of services and amenities.
Norwegian is on a strong growth track. The airline is due to take delivery of nine more 787-9s this year, which it uses on longer-haul U.S. routes, along with half a dozen 737 MAX aircraft. Norwegian already flies to London Gatwick from Oakland, Los Angeles, New York JFK, Ft. Lauderdale and Orlando, and on several other transatlantic routes.
Norwegian is also negotiating with European carriers Ryanair and EasyJet about the creation of a low-cost carrier alliance that would permit passengers to easily connect among their networks.
Soooo dear readers, how do you feel about flying a 737 across the Atlantic? Have you flown Norwegian Air yet? Please leave your comments below.