Norse Atlantic will bring its 787 “Longships” across the Atlantic Ocean beginning in June. The carrier formally launched its first four transatlantic routes, with New York City, Los Angeles, and Florida connecting to Oslo from this summer.
New York’s JFK airport will be the first market, with flights from 14 June. That route will eventually build to daily service. Fort Lauderdale will join the operation on 18 June, with flights up to 3x weekly. Orlando service up to 3x weekly launches 5 July and Los Angeles launches on 9 August, also up to 3x weekly.
Picking the bigger airports
Both the JFK and Los Angeles routes reflect a shift from the company’s initial route application. Stewart/Newburgh (SWF) and Ontario (ONT) were the originally announced airports for the New York City and Los Angeles markets, respectively.
Read More: Norwegian long-haul is dead; Long live Norse Atlantic Airways
Presumably the shift to the larger airports comes as a result of gaining access to the necessary landing slots. The JFK flights depart at 11:55pm, for example, after the bulk of the transatlantic rush ends. Los Angeles will depart at 6p, which is relatively late for an Atlantic crossing from the west coast. Flights to LA will leave Oslo at 6:30a, leaving the plane on the ground for an extended period. This is likely dictated by available slots.
Low fares, fees for everything
Fares start low, perhaps shockingly cheap given the cost of fuel and of operating long-haul aircraft. But buyer beware. The base fare includes only an under-seat carry-on bag. Everything else, from meals on board to pre-assigning even a middle seat in the last row, comes with a cost.
Even in the premium cabin an advance seat assignment costs extra, unless you purchase the Plus bundle. Given the chance of getting stuck in a middle seat, that’s unfortunate.
The company does offer bundles to help take the sting out of some of those fees, but they are not cheap.
At least the “basic business” option still includes the meals, but skips the bags. For many travelers the value likely would be better the other way.
The relatively high cost of the ancillary charges does make it somewhat more difficult to compare pricing across carriers, of course. Which is a major challenge when the up-charges can quickly become more than the initial fare.
On Board Experience
Expect the on-board experience to be very similar to what Norwegian operated. Mostly because Norse is flying the same planes in the same configuration. That means in-flight entertainment screens and power outlets (USB and AC) for travelers both in economy and premium.
Getting the in-flight WiFi service turned on might also happen, but the company has not committed to that yet.
Seating is 2-3-2 in premium, including extra legroom and recline. In economy it is 3-3-3.
Oslo is the launching point for the carrier, but London and Paris are not too far behind. The airline is expected to operate test flights from London in a few weeks and should be in position to announce route specifics for those markets relatively soon.
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Great information regarding Norse Atlantic Airways. Let us know when London & Paris start! ThankYou
It’s never been entirely clear whether or not Norse Atlantic would ever get off the ground – British Airways & American Airlines will no doubt have breathed a sigh of relief hearing this news.
Now its first routes from Oslo are available to book, it’ll be interesting to see how long it’ll be until they start operating from the UK… and when it does, yet again BA & AA will be pleased because their joint venture is up for renewal.
Back in 2020 the Competition & Markets Authority began its investigation into a possible renewal – they found that there was not sufficient competition on select routes between Europe and the US. With JetBlue and soon Norse Atlantic, it’ll show that new entrants can enter the transatlantic market and that BA / AA – together with the Virgin / Delta joint venture – are not a block on competition.
Seth Miller says
Sadly, the authorities will consider a once daily flight in a highly competitive market – made available only on an exception basis and with no guarantee of long-term access to slots – as viable competition.