Norwegian has been growing their transatlantic presence significantly over the past several years, and up until now all their transatlantic flights have been operated by 787s. However, soon Norwegian will be taking their transatlantic expansion to the next level, as they start taking delivery of their first Boeing 737-MAX aircraft, of which they have 108 on order.
This is a plane that has the potential to shake up the transatlantic market, especially for low cost carriers.
Norwegian has announced their intentions to set up transatlantic bases at Stewart Airport (SWF), Hartford (BDL), and Providence (PVD). From there they plan on launching all kinds of transatlantic flights. Their immediate plans are to operate the following flights between the U.S. and U.K./Ireland:
Well, Norwegian’s new 737-MAX transatlantic flights are on sale as of today. Here’s how the new routes are described in the press release:
The airline will launch 10 new routes from Stewart International Airport north of New York City, T.F. Green Airport in Providence, RI, and Bradley International Airport in Hartford, CT, to Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland this summer.
Norwegian’s new routes from Providence to Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Edinburgh and Shannon are the first-ever year-round European routes for Rhode Island’s largest airport. From Stewart, New York’s Hudson Valley airport, Norwegian will be the first carrier to provide European service with four routes to Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh and Shannon. Norwegian will also operate one route from Bradley, New England’s second largest airport, to Edinburgh.
Here are the full details of when these routes are being launched, and the frequencies we can expect (as you can see, most routes are operated a few times per week):
Year-round service to Edinburgh from Stewart International Airport will operate daily beginning June 15 for the summer season, and thrice weekly during the winter season; from Providence, flights will operate four times a week starting June 16 and twice weekly during the winter season; from Hartford, flights will operate thrice weekly beginning June 17, and twice weekly during the winter season. Days of operations will change between the summer 2017 and the winter 2017/2018 winter season.
Service to Belfast from Stewart International Airport will be thrice weekly during summer and twice weekly during winter as of July 1; twice weekly from Providence as of July 2 during summer. Days of operations will change between the summer 2017 and the winter 2017/2018 winter season.
Service to Dublin from Stewart International Airport begins on July 1 with daily flights during the summer and thrice weekly during the winter seasons; and from Providence, flights will operate five weekly flights starting July 2 during the summer and thrice weekly during winter. Days of operations from Providence will change between the summer 2017 and the winter 2017/2018 winter season.
Service to Shannon from Stewart International Airport will begin on July 2 with twice-weekly flights; and from Providence on July 3 with twice-weekly flights. Days of operations will change between the summer 2017 and the winter 2017/2018 winter season.
Year-round service to Cork from Providence will start on July 1 with three weekly flights during summer and a twice-weekly service during winter season. Days of operations will change between the summer 2017 and the winter 2017/2018 winter season.
Fares start at $65 one-way, though there’s very little availability at those prices.
Still, even the non-promotional fares are super cheap. Do keep in mind, however, that Norwegian charges for seat assignments, carry-ons, food, drinks, etc., so you’ll want to factor that in when deciding to fly with them.
In the near future we’re seeing the introduction of both the 737-MAX and A321 LR, both of which have the potential to shake-up the transatlantic market. These are fairly low capacity planes that could open up routes that might not otherwise be possible, and also cause low cost carriers to further disrupt markets that have otherwise been dominated by legacy carriers.
I’m sure some people will be interested in Norwegian’s new transatlantic routes, as we’re seeing roundtrip transatlantic fares of ~$200. Personally I’m most excited about JetBlue eventually starting transatlantic service with their excellent Mint product.
Would you consider flying a Norwegian 737 on a transatlantic flight if the price is right?
(Tip of the hat to TravelSkills)