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Norse Atlantic Airways: Bjorn Again vs Son of Norwegian

Premium Analysis

Received wisdom about aviation's recovery tends to place domestic markets over international markets, short haul ahead of long haul, narrowbody routes before widebody routes, direct flights above connecting flights, and low cost over legacy.

Yet Norway's start-up Norse Atlantic Airways only plays to one of these preferences, in that it styles itself as an LCC.

Even there, beyond low lease rates, its source of cost advantage is unclear. It is aiming to launch services on the North Atlantic, an international long haul market, using widebodies and relying on partners for connections to feeder traffic.

With start-up funding raised, and nine Boeing 787 aircraft lease agreements reached with AerCap, Norse Atlantic can at least wait for market conditions to improve.

Norse Atlantic was founded by the 'Bjorn Three' of Bjorn Kjos, Bjorn Kise and CEO Bjorn Tore Larsen. The first two of the trio also founded Norwegian Air, which foundered after entering long haul markets, its problems compounded by debt-fuelled overexpansion.

The 'Bjorn Again' airline will no doubt be careful to avoid the same pitfalls.

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