After Norwegian Air Shuttle ceased transatlantic flights, it will be replaced by a brand new airline, Norse Atlantic Airways, which will start operations at the end of the year. Dagens Naeringsliv, a local Norwegian newspaper first reported this on Monday.
The founder and CEO of the new airline, who also owns the majority of the company, is Björn Tore Larsen. He has been one of the founders of OSM Aviation, an airline staffing company. Former Norwegian CEO Björn Kjos is also involved as a co-owner in the new company, as is Björn Kise who was one of Norwegian’s former executives. Larsen owns 63% of the shares in NAA. Kjos joined the company with an investment of 15% and Kisen’s shareholding is 12%. OSM Aviation CEO and former SAS pilot Espen Høiby will become Chief Operating Officer of Norse Atlantic Airways. The company also plans to raise capital by investing in the Oslo Stock Exchange during April 2021.
During the coronavirus pandemic, with many airlines going bankrupt, this new low-cost airline will bring new competition to the market and also keep Transatlantic air fares reasonable.
Norse Atlantic Airways is scheduled to continue where the Norwegian company left off before the airline’s corporate restructuring. In an interview with Dagens Naeringsliv (DN) a couple of days ago, former Norwegian CEO Björn Kjos said that December was the right time to start long-haul flights once the country’s borders opened.
In recent weeks, he and other colleagues have been negotiating with international leasing companies to take over many of Norwegian’s old long-haul aircrafts. The NAA plans to start flights later this year by leasing 12 Norwegian Boeing 787 Dreamliners.
Norse Atlantic will become an independent company and he thinks it’s time to start long-haul flights and points to a new beginning once vaccines become more common, borders open and people start traveling again.
Norse Atlantic Airways will initially offer flights on long-haul Boeing 787 Dreamliners between Europe and the United States. It’s the same aircraft that Norwegian has been trying to get rid of through bankruptcy protection in Ireland and Norway this winter. The first 787 Dreamliner aircraft will take off in December this year, the company said in a press release on Monday.
The airline will initially offer routes that have already proven popular with both leisure and business travelers, including destinations such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Paris and Oslo. More routes will be offered according to customer demand, the NAA website states.
In his interview, the company’s CEO Larsen told DN that he got the idea to set up the airline when Norwegian announced it would give up its investment this winter. The timing of the launch of the flights is incredibly important in his view and he believes in the possibility of entering the market by setting air fares for passengers to be wallet friendly. Prices will be about half of the prices offered by other airlines.
Personally, I once used the Norwegian route Miami-Stockholm which was an affordable and direct connection across the Atlantic. Hopefully this route will be provided by the NAA.