At the moment Norwegian is undergoing a major restructuring, given the huge losses they’ve sustained. The airline is transitioning from being focused on growth to being focused on profitability. The airline has some new investors, and plans on downsizing as part of this strategy.
The airline has announced some significant service cuts, so that’s why I’m a bit surprised to see they’re now announcing some new routes as well.
Norwegian has announced two new seasonal transatlantic flights as of summer 2019 — from Chicago to Barcelona and New York JFK to Athens — both of which will be operated by the 787.
Norwegian’s Chicago to Barcelona flight will operate 4x weekly between between June 7 and October 26, 2019. On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the flight will operate with the following schedule:
DY7156 Chicago to Barcelona departing 6:30PM arriving 9:50AM (+1 day)
DY7155 Barcelona to Chicago departing 2:05PM arriving 4:30PM
Meanwhile on Saturdays the route will operate with the following schedule:
DY7156 Chicago to Barcelona departing 8:30PM arriving 11:50AM (+1 day)
DY7155 Barcelona to Chicago departing 3:55PM arriving 6:20PM
Norwegian New York JFK to Athens flight will operate 4x weekly between July 2 and October 26, 2019. On Sundays and Wednesdays eastbound and Mondays and Thursdays westbound, the flight will operate with the following schedule:
DY7030 New York to Athens departing 12:55PM arriving 5:05AM (+1 day)
DY7029 Athens to New York departing 9:25AM arriving 12:55PM
Meanwhile on Tuesdays and Saturdays eastbound and Wednesdays and Sundays westbound, the route will operate with the following schedule:
DY7030 New York to Athens departing 12:30AM arriving 4:40PM
DY7029 Athens to New York departing 7:55AM arriving 11:25AM
Norwegian’s SVP of Commercial Long Haul and New Markets has said the following of the new routes:
“Norwegian is fully committed to the United States and have answered our passengers’ growing demand for more destinations from both New York City and Chicago. Already serving most of Europe’s top destinations, Athens is an exciting addition to our transatlantic route network. Barcelona, which we added two and half years ago from the U.S, is performing so well that we are adding both a new route, from Chicago, and increasing frequencies from both New York City and Los Angeles.”
Ticket will go on sale today, and one-way fares between New York and Athens start at $159.90 in economy and $699.90 in Premium. Meanwhile one-way fares between Chicago and Barcelona start at $199.90 in economy and $669.90 in Premium.
It goes without saying that Norwegian is an ultra low cost carrier, so if you’re in economy you can expect to pay for all kinds of extra things, including seats, bags, food, drinks, etc. Still, for travel in summer those are some excellent fares.
Norwegian Premium on the 787-9
While this is Norwegian’s first transatlantic route to Athens, it represents their fifth transatlantic route to Barcelona, as they also fly there out of Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Newark, and San Francisco.
Norwegian economy on the 787-9
Norwegian is going through a tough time, though it’s great to see that they’re still focused on strategically adding routes. Clearly the airline does well with Barcelona, given how many routes they operate there from the US. The only airline they’ll be competing against directly in that city pair is American, which flies between Chicago and Barcelona using a 787-8.
I find the Athens route to be more interesting. Obviously Greece is very popular in the summer, though they’re going up against Delta, Emirates, and United, all of which fly between New York and Athens in summer.
I’ll be curious to see how that route performs.
What do you make of Norwegian’s new transatlantic routes?