Norway aviation: Wizz Air would, Braathen would. Norwegian wouldn't

Premium Analysis

Norway punches above its weight as an aviation market and its relative importance has been further enhanced by the pandemic. Domestic markets are recovering faster than international markets, particularly those where surface transport does not provide a realistic alternative on many routes.

Norway's geography and climate provide conditions for a large domestic aviation market. Its domestic market ranks sixth in Europe and first among countries with a population in the single digit millions, helping a faster capacity recovery than in Europe as a whole.

Attracted by this potential, the ultra LCC Wizz Air is establishing two new bases in Norway – Oslo and Trondheim – and launching its first ever domestic routes there. No doubt it spots opportunity as incumbents SAS and, in particular, Norwegian, struggle for survival.

However, some Norwegians, including the Prime Minister, are unhappy that Wizz Air does not recognise workforce unionisation.

Moreover, a new home-grown airline planned by experienced aviation executive Erik Braathen looks set to challenge Wizz Air in its quest to take share from SAS and Norwegian (and from the regional airline Widerøe).

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