Israel and the US reached (23-Apr-2010) an Open Skies agreement that will liberalise US-Israel air services for the carriers of both countries. Israel becomes the 97th US open skies partner. Under the new agreement, airlines from both countries will be allowed to select routes and destinations based on consumer demand for passenger and cargo services, without limitations on the number of carriers that can operate between the two countries or the number of services they can operate. It will also provide unlimited opportunities for US and Israeli carriers to serve the market through cooperative marketing arrangements, including codesharing. The previous US-Israel agreement contained restrictions on codesharing opportunities and limits on the cities that could be served. The agreement will take effect following a formal signing. [more]
US and Israel sign Open Skies agreement
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Norwegian Air: 10 new North Atlantic routes enabled by new narrowbody aircraft and price stimulation
Norwegian's long anticipated new trans Atlantic routes, to be launched in summer 2017, will add five airports in the UK and Ireland and three in the US to its existing long haul network. Norwegian already operates to eight US primary airports from London Gatwick. By using new narrowbody technology Norwegian is opening trans Atlantic travel to smaller cities that could not support widebody service.
The new trans Atlantic routes, the first to be operated by its Irish subsidiary NAI after receiving US rights late in 2016, will deploy new Boeing 737-8 MAX aircraft with a longer range than existing narrowbodies, and Norwegian is the European launch customer of the type.
In total there will be 10 new routes, comprising 38 weekly flights from Edinburgh, Belfast International, Cork, Shannon and Dublin serving three secondary airports on the US east coast. These are Stewart International (SWF), Providence (PVD) and Hartford Bradley International (BDL). These US airports are small and relatively unknown in Europe, and Norwegian will have to rely on price stimulation more than it has done on existing long haul routes. Nevertheless, Norwegian is once more leading the market with this innovation.
Norwegian Air part 2: long haul growth shows its strategic innovation, but increases debt burden
Norwegian plans to add US routes to its Edinburgh base, a development considered in part 1 of this report, adding to its growing list of European long haul bases. However, its Edinburgh-US routes will use new Boeing 737MAX-8 aircraft – its first deployment of narrowbodies for long haul. It has also ordered 30 Airbus A321neoLRs for long haul use. Narrowbodies open up new possibilities for routes between the UK (or other European markets) and the US east coast.
Norwegian also plans to add non-US destinations to its UK long haul network, with details expected during the course of 2017. Norwegian's flexibility to develop its long haul operations from the UK would be improved by the grant of a US foreign carrier permit to its UK-registered subsidiary, Norwegian Air UK.
Norwegian has had to surmount many obstacles to build and grow its global network – which may also include Latin America in 2017, when it will accelerate long haul ASK growth to 60%. However its rapid expansion, currently driven mainly by long haul growth, has led to a rapid increase in debt, and is likely to weigh on unit revenue. Norwegian's undoubted strategic innovation can only be sustained if it is financially successful.