Norse expands its network

Years ago, leading managers of established airlines and journalists placed bets on this topic: will there be European low-cost airlines offering transatlantic flights and earning money with them? Of the 11 people involved in the discussion at the time, the (unofficial) vote was: 8 no, 3 yes. Two of the three representatives were journalists. A look at the situation today: the three were right.

Admittedly, there have been failures; Norwegian has withdrawn from transatlantic crossings following its bankruptcy and relaunch. Iceland’s WOW has disappeared completely, only to be replaced by budget carrier, PLAY Airlines. And in Norway, a new player, Norse Atlantic Airways, founded in 2021, has set out to serve long-haul routes on a budget basis.

Markus Engstroem is Director Cargo at Norse Atlantic Airways AS  –  photo: CFG/hs 

Growing intercontinental network

The Viking airline’s main market is North America, served from its European hubs in Oslo, Gatwick, and Berlin. The long-haul network further includes Paris CDG and Rome. Flights from Athens to New York will be added from the end of May and Las Vegas will be served from Gatwick commencing in SEP24.The first commercial flight operated by Norse took place on 04JUN22, connecting Oslo with New York JFK. Today, the newcomer serves JFK, MIA, LAX, MCO, and IAD in the U.S. In the Caribbean, MBJ and BGI are part of its network, as is BKK in Thailand.

Keeping the flight schedule stable

At the end of OCT24, Cape Town will become the first destination in Africa to be served seasonally. “Our aim is to keep flight schedules stable on core routes, which means year-round traffic, partly combined with frequency increases,” explains Magnus Engström, Director Cargo

Uniform long-haul fleet.

Norse operates 14 Dreamliners, 12 of which it uses itself with two currently leased to Spanish Air Europa. All aircraft come from the former Norwegian fleet and were taken over by Norse from lessor BOC Aviation.
Cargo is an important sales factor, confirms Mr. Engström. It can make the difference between a profitable or loss-making route, says the manager. “The cargo business opportunities represent an important part of our route selection criteria and remains a growing part of our business.” However, he does not reveal how much air freight contributes to overall sales.
By using a uniform B787-900 fleet, the airline can carry 18 or even more tons per flight in the lower decks of the aircraft, depending on the number of passengers and the weight of their baggage.

GSA Kales manages the cargo business

In Europe, Kales was contracted by the management as the airline’s general sales agent. The Dutch GSA has concluded a Total Cargo Management agreement with Norse, which includes all sales activities as well as operational and commercial issues. The individual national representations of agent Kales are responsible for the everyday business coordinated by the Gatwick-based team. Finally, regarding the bet mentioned at the beginning: each of the losers had to send a bottle of tasty red wine to the winners.



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