Norwegian launched (29-Nov-2013) twice weekly Copenhagen-Fort Lauderdale service on 29-Nov-2013, as well as twice weekly Oslo-Fort Lauderdale service on 30-Nov-2013 and twice weekly Stockholm Arlanda-Fort Lauderdale service on 01-Dec-2013. Each of the services will be operated using the carrier's new Boeing 787 aircraft, the third in its fleet. Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos said: "It is a milestone that we can now open our first long distance route from Copenhagen and welcome the first Danish passengers on board. Our routes from Oslo and Stockholm have also been well received and now we are looking forward to flying Scandinavians directly to Florida on our brand new Dreamliner." The carrier is the only operator on each of the routes, according to OAG. [more - original PR - Norwegian] [more - original PR - ARN]
Norwegian launches services to Fort Lauderdale from Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm
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Nevertheless, in the meantime and aided by low fuel prices, Norwegian is getting on with an ambitious trans-Atlantic expansion plan and has now carried three million passengers between Europe and the US since 2013. Its summer 2016 seat capacity has jumped by 51% year on year (based on OAG data for the week of 5-Sep-2016), including nine new routes this summer. It plans two more routes in the coming winter schedule and four US routes from Barcelona in summer 2017.
Well over half of Norwegian's North Atlantic routes are new to the market, which has been significantly stimulated by its entry. This has provided choice and lower fares for passengers, and created new airline jobs. Those still seeking to block approval for NAI and NUK are acting against the interests both of consumers and aviation workers.
Norwegian Air: 1Q results continue improving trend thanks to lower fuel. Long haul strategy develops
The Norwegian Air Shuttle group is enjoying a period of good news. It narrowed its underlying operating loss for the seasonally weak first quarter, after returning to full-year profit in 2015 following a loss in 2014. Its 1Q2016 results demonstrate that this improving trend is continuing. Norwegian's 1Q results came soon after the US Department of Transportation (DoT) had given tentative approval of a US foreign carrier permit to Norwegian's Irish-registered subsidiary, NAI.
However, this is not the time for Norwegian to sit back and relax. Its improved profitability is in no small measure due to lower fuel prices, while ex fuel unit cost increased in 1Q2016. In addition, contracts for the leasing out of Norwegian's first A320neo deliveries have been temporarily delayed, highlighting the added challenge of running this new and growing line of business. Moreover, until the DoT approval is final, there may be some nervousness surrounding it.
Meanwhile, Norwegian is growing NAI at its new Rome Fiumicino base, which joins Madrid and Barcelona as major NAI airports with no Norwegian intercontinental routes. As it pursues 40% pa ASK growth over the next several years, these are likely candidates to be its next long haul bases.