Norwegian Extends Use Of Leased Aircraft On New York Routes

Ben has written extensively about the solutions Norwegian has come up with this year to cover their reduced Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet, while several aircraft are removed from service due to the faster than anticipated replacement of their Rolls Royce engines.

In particular, Ben has written about how:

Norwegian has this week announced further leased aircraft to operate certain New York area routes for the next few months.

Leasing companies do not usually make a huge amount of information about their products publicly available, as their airline customers would be communicating with them directly when determining if a particular aircraft is suitable to lease.

While I’m very familiar with the interior of the ex-Singapore Airlines A380, I wasn’t familiar with what the interiors of some of these aircraft look like, so here’s what I’ve been able to find, and what you might expect if you are booked on one of these flights.

London Gatwick to New York JFK

Norwegian will operate two daily flights on this route for the next few months, despite still advertising in London tube stations that they offer a triple daily service (I expect this is only during the summer peak that has just finished).

The flight that was operated by the Hi-Fly A380 earlier this month (DI7015/DI7016), is now once again being operated by a Norwegian 787 Dreamliner. Instead, Norwegian will use a leased Wamos A330-200 on the other following daily frequency, from September 2 until October 27, 2018:

  • DI7013 London Gatwick to New York JFK departing 5:50AM arriving 8:50AM
  • DI7014 New York JFK to London Gatwick departing 11:25AM arriving 11:35PM

This flight is currently being operated by a Norwegian Boeing 787 Dreamliner on most days, before switching to the Wamos aircraft this weekend.

Vamos A330-200 (Source: CH-Aviation)

The seat map for this flight shows 2-2-2 seating with three rows on each window, and four rows in the centre.

What does the Vamos A330-200 interior look like? Wamos has five A330-200s, but I believe the exact registration of the aircraft Norwegian will be using will be EC-MNY, which is an aircraft that is almost 20 years old, and has recently been leased by Wamos to Biman Bangladesh Airlines, Air Algerie and the LATAM Group.

Business Traveller Denmark has shown this aircraft has the following angled-flat seats in its business class cabin that Norwegian will use for their premium class customers, in a 2-2-2 configuration. There are 20 premium seats and 309 economy seats in a 3-3-3 layout which are likely to be narrower than the Norwegian 787 seats as the A330 cabin is narrower.

This matches up with the ExpertFlyer seat map for the flight above.

Compared with Norwegian’s 2-3-2 recliner seats on their Dreamliners, this represents an upgrade for premium passengers. Economy class passengers have the same layout as the Norwegian Dreamliner that would usually operate the service.

Norwegian Dreamliner premium class

The catch is that with just 20 premium seats, it could be that quite a few passengers are downgraded.

Paris Orly to Newark

Norwegian will extend the current use of a leased Boeing 777-200ER from EuroAtlantic on its six weekly flights through October 27, 2018.

  • DY7191 Paris Orly to Newark departing 8:30PM arriving 10:30PM
  • DY7192 Newark to Paris Orly departing 12:30AM arriving 1:35PM

This flight does not operate on Wednesdays from Orly, and Thursdays from Newark.

EuroAtlantic 777-200 (Source PlaneFinder.net)

Norwegian is currently using the EuroAtlantic aircraft with registration CS-TFM, which is an ex-Singapore Airlines 777-200.

The seat map shows 2-3-2 seating in premium class.

 

Now there are a few different images of the business class cabin of this aircraft floating around.

The Points Guy has identified these recliner seats will be used for premium passengers on this aircraft, however notes the seat map Norwegian is showing only has three rows of two seats on each window, whereas this image shows four rows of two seats.

These seats are similar in size, comfort and recline to the premium seats Norwegian offers on their Dreamliners, so won’t be a substantially different passenger experience.

However DailyTrust suggests aircraft CS-TFM has the following business class seats, which are flat, also in a 2-3-2 configuration. There are only three rows on each window, which matches up with the seat map for the Norwegian flights.

CS-TFM Boeing 777-200 Business Class (Source: DailyTrust)

These angled-flat seats would represent an upgrade for premium passengers — if you have taken this flight operated by the EuroAtlantic aircraft and can confirm which business class seat this plane has, please let me know in the comments below.

The economy seat map shows seating in a 3-3-3 configuration, so the same layout as Norwegian’s Dreamliners. Some full service airlines have 3-4-3 seating on 772s so these seats may actually be slightly wider than Norwegian’s 787 seats.

The Trip Advisor reviews for this flight on this aircraft have been particularly negative.

Rome to Newark

Norwegian will continue to used a Privilege Style Boeing 777-200 on its six weekly flights (no flights on Tuesdays in either direction). This aircraft was originally scheduled to operate until September 15, but will now be extended to October 27, 2018, with the following schedule:

  • DY7023 Rome FCO to New York Newark departing 6:05PM arriving 9:25PM
  • DY7024 New York Newark to Rome FCO departing 11:30PM arriving 1:40PM

I understand the aircraft to be used for this route will have registration EC-MUA, which has previously flown for both Royal Brunei Airlines, and then Singapore Airlines before moving to Privilege Style.

Boeing 777-200ER Registration EC-MUA (Source: PlaneSpotters.Net)

The seat map for these flights shows five rows of 2-2-2 seating in premium class.

Now Privilege Air has not published any images of their business, or economy cabins for this aircraft type. This is the only 777-200 Privilege currently operates. The ExpertFlyer seat map for the flight shows 2-2-2 seating.

Which FlyerTalk suggests is the same seat Privilege Style has on its 767, which look like this:

Privilege Style 767 Business Class Cabin (Source: FlyerTalk)

Reader Dan has helpfully already advised in the comments below that he has recently taken this flight on this aircraft and the seating is similar to the image above, although wider.

If these are the same seats as the 777-200, then premium class passengers can expect an upgrade to their experience.

Again, economy seats will be in a 3-3-3 configuration. The Trip Advisor reviews on this flight on this aircraft have actually been largely positive.

Bottom line

If you are booked onto one of these flights over the next two months, check the seat map regularly, as the exact aircraft and seat plan may change as Norwegian continues to adjust their fleet.

It’s always interesting with these leased aircraft that some passengers will receive a better experience while others will no doubt be disappointed when they board. Norwegian, like Air New Zealand and Virgin Atlantic are doing what they can to continue operating these flights during the busy northern summer period.

Do remember that Norwegian is a low cost airline, so their focus on a consistent and premium passenger experience is not going to be at the same level as full service airlines.

Have you taken or are you booked onto a Norwegian flight operated by a leased aircraft?

Comments

  1. I flew EWR-FCO round trip on privilege style 777. Definite upgrade over Norwegian premium economy. Crew were good and food was same as Norwegian offered.

    Only issue is 3 of the seats were broken. Privilege style doesn’t seem to have the necessary maintenance people to keep the old ex-singapore business class seats operational. Also with the exception of Tuesday (flight is 6x weekly), the plane has little downtime to fix any issue. I imagine going forward a good number of first class seats are going to be broken causing some difficulties onboard.

  2. @James –

    Will the economy section on the EC-MNY be in a 3-3-3 or 2-4-2 configuration? You gave us contradictory informations:

    “There are 20 premium seats and 309 economy seats in a 2-4-2 layout.” and “Economy class passengers will be in a 3-3-3 configuration, the same as the Norwegian Dreamliner that would usually operate the service.”

  3. Friends of mine were notified the other day that they had a plane swap from the Dreamliner to Wamos 330-200 on October 29, LGW-FLL route. They are all in economy…

    Pretty glad that I ended up not booking with them.

  4. @ Bongo -good pickup. ExpertFlyer shows 3-3-3 for the A300-200 flights so I would expect the seating to be that way, regardless of the exact rego that ends up operating the flight. I’ve updated the post to reflect that.

  5. You claim the experience for economy passengers is the same.

    Is that true? Norwegian offers extensive IFE. Do these planes?

  6. @ JJJ – I meant the seating would be similar in terms of layout. There’s not enough publicly available information about things like IFE so I don’t want to take a risk of saying if the flights will or will not have IFE and whether it will or won’t be turned on.

  7. James – those seats are similar but not identical. Design is different with seat controls mounted on the outside armrest rather than interior armrest and with significantly fewer control options on 777. The center console is bigger in the 777 than in that picture. I also believe the privilege style seats are significantly wider since this plane is a 2-2-2 777 while the picture is a 2-2-2 767.

    I unfortunately don’t have any OMAAT caliber pictures.

  8. Typo – meant to say Privilege Style 777 seats are significantly wider than the 767 privilege style business class shown above.

  9. I flew on the Privilege Style 767 LIS-OSL last fall (a TAP flight) and was very impressed with the quality of service — very attentive and professional FAs.

  10. I actually don’t understand how you casually say 3-3-3 on economy on a 787, 330 and 777 is the “same layout”.
    Everyone knows the experience on a 787 and 777 in 3-3-3 is drastically different, no matter the airline. And I’m actually afraid to think of a 330 in 3-3-3 config.

  11. Seeing how mixed up the fleet is brings me to an interesting question.

    Can one setup an airline with 0 planes and keep leasing these jets?

  12. Recently did FCO-EWR on privelege style. Seats were very similar to above, a definite upgrade (even though not fully flat). I managed 4 hours sleep, not something I would on Norwegian normal recliners.

    Food and service were also not bad at all. Obviously no IFE.

  13. The Vamos A332 C looks like the old LH C, where bulkhead seats can be turned completely flat manually

  14. The Privilege Style 777 has the old SQ “SpaceBed” (formerly of Raffles Class) in business. A comfortable seat when first introduced… in 2001. No question that these seats have been through the ringer and I would expect mechanical problems, not to mention cosmetic issues. With that said, I believe the SpaceBed has manual controls for recline and foot/legrest, so even if the motor is buggy, you might still be able to get the seat into a bed.

    Very similar to the original p.s. First seat on United when the product was introduced in 2004.

  15. We just returned from Orly on the Euroatlantic flight chartered by Norwegian and it was horrible…the plane that is. The crew was very nice but seemed overwhelmed although they definetly took care of all the children on the plane making sure they are fed. If you wanted anything after 2 hrs of servicing the prepaid you had to wait in line at the back of the plane. All the cabin lights were turned off but only a handful of overhead lights worked…guess I’m done reading and it seemed the heat was turned on in he plane as we were all sweating. I’m a huge fan of Norwegian but that plane was absolutely not even close to what I have come to expect from the airline. Even as a low cost airline I think they are better then most other airlines and they always have the best personnel. That charter was a disappointment.

  16. The Privilege Style 777 I assume operated for SIA throughout its lifetime, before being leased to RB for a short while, returned to SIA, and then retired, not delivered new to RB and then sold to SIA as the article implies.

  17. @ Ivan: Air Inter (integrated into the AF group in 1997, I worked there…) had A300 B4s with the same fuselage diametre as the later A330, in an all 9 abreast configuration
    (3-3-3) and it was perfectly livable. The pitch, if I remember well, was 32″, paltry at the time but almost luxurious by today’s standard and especially for LCCs.

    The longest scheduled route was Paris Orly to Nice (1.20 hr) but these aircraft routinely did charters for AF to places as far as Cairo, Amman or Tel Aviv. Some even did ORY- JFK with max fuel and reduced pax numbers. The only reason they were not widespread was AF’s reluctance then to market twins over the Atlantic. They were not ETOPS.

  18. I took several Norwegian transatlantic flights in premium cabin B787. I must say I will not return. Pricing is up for premium and my route requires stopover in BCN or Oslo adding 4-5 hours to the trip. Also Norwegian has a lot of delays and they comped me $11 for late dinner which is a joke. I was able to get 4 bananas at EWR for their voucher. Beer was excluded.
    Going west on Norwegian is fine but eastbound overnight in semi reclining seat without foot support is a torture for my aging body. I would rather spend extra few hundred $ and fly non stop on flat seat on one of euro lines and with better food service than Norwegian bento box dinner. Can’t comment on their leased junk yard fleet as London is not on my route but anything lie flat on junk jet is better than overnight semi reclined 787.

  19. @James I flew the privilege style 777 from EWR to FCO and can confirm the premium seating does look like the photo you provided. In regards to the economy, the benefit of this 777 was the extra legroom, however, this aircraft has no in-seat power or IFE so it really depends on the person. I got through the flight with a mobile battery.

    I am flying the Paris route in January, any idea if the 787 will be back?

  20. Hi James,
    I booked myself and 4 other friends on Norwegian because the Premium Economy was a great deal from Newark to Rome. I have traveled on most airlines but never on Norwegian. Now as you know and the people above mentioned, the airline is now using Privilege Style charter while their jets are being retrofit. Norwegian has no info or seat map or pictures and there is no phone # on Privilege Style’s site for info. Do any of your followers have pictures and/or videos of the Premium Economy cabin? Also, I asked them if there is a USB port and they told me yes but some of your followers above said no. I can’t believe Norwegian has absolutely no info, crazy. I have called them several times and tried live chat several times with no help.
    thanks…

  21. I am booked on Norwegian Flight D17171 LGW-DEN for November 6. I just got a text update informing me that they are switching to the Wamos a330. Just curious if anyone has any further information. Is this the same a330 they were using for the JFK flight or have they leased more? Wamos Air shows 5 different seat maps on their website for the a330. Also curious to know how they handle downgrades (a330 has only 20 b-seats compared to 35 on the 787).

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