After many months of speculation, it seems that Norse Atlantic Airways is ready to disrupt the Transatlantic market. After checking the site this evening (28th April), TheDesignAir has revealed that Norse has now officially launched its booking engine and seems it will be commencing operations to JFK on 14th June.
Now, its not news that Norse has taken over Norwegian’s 787 fleet, so there won’t be much surprise that the carrier will be offering a standard low-cost economy and the sumptuous premium cabin which was a favourite for many a few years ago. Few details are yet to be announced, but we’ve reached out to the carrier to find out more.
What we do know is that both cabins will feature IFE seat-back screens, and the ability to watch and – most likely – order food on demand. Norwegian became a much-loved option for Transatlantic travel a few years ago, as the hard product was just as good in economy as other carriers, and even better in some regards when it came to its premium product. It seems that this inherited fleet will be a good bedrock for the carrier.
What is interesting is that Norse Atlantic Airways has launch flights from Oslo to much more premium US destinations than we first thought, including New York (JFK), Orlando (MCO), Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and Los Angeles (LAX). Interestingly none of these airport pairs are currently served from Oslo, although when the carrier eventually opens up London Gatwick and Paris, things will become a little more competitive. Los Angeles looks like it will launch on 9th August, Fort Lauderdale 18th June, and Orlando 5th July.
The fares we have found seem to start at just NOK995 OSL-JFK and $129 JFK-OSL for economy class and NOK2994 OSL-JFK and $349 for JFK-OSL for its premium product. I’ve been able to secure a return flight across the Atlantic for as little as US$241 (That’s under £199 return)
These are great mind-boggling prices, and will most likely be mirrored from the UK when they go on sale. Giving the likes of Virgin, BA, the US three and newcomer JetBlue a run for their money, meaning we feel the time of Transatlantic fare-war is now probably back.
Premium fares seem to be split in three categories, Premium Light, Classic and Plus. Light gets you an under-seat bag, plus 10kg carry on, 2 meal services that include one free alcoholic drink, priority boarding and check in, while Classic gets you a checked bag up to 23kg and Plus gets you two bags plus the ability to change your ticket while only paying the fare difference.
Meanwhile economy class fares have the same three options, but the offers are a little more restrictive. Economy light gets you an under-seat bag only, Classic gives you more benefits, including an additional carry-on bag, a checked bag up to 23kgs, plus a main meal service with a non-alcoholic drink, while Economy Plus also gives you priority boarding along with more favourable change conditions.
Most airlines launch with spectacular fares to build interest, but it will be interesting to see if the carrier can maintain them. Our recommendation is if you are planning on a Transatlantic trip in the next few months, now might be the time to snap up a bargain, as well as having the opportunity to be one of the first to try out a brand-new carrier.