Norwegian Air is the world’s fastest growing airline and it is leading the way in low cost international fares Norwegian is Europe’s third largest budget carrier after Ryanair and EasyJet. In October, 2015 they announced that an order for 19 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners at a price of $5 billion. It will take delivery of the planes between 2017 and 2020, and has an option to order an additional 10.
They already have one way flights as cheap as $150-200 from the US to Europe. The plan is have US to Europe sales with prices as low as $69 one way in 2017 when new 737 Max planes are delivered.
Norwegian’s long haul operations will continue to focus on leisure markets, with growth coming particularly on routes between the US and European cities such as London, Paris, Barcelona and Rome. “We don’t see any problems in placing these Dreamliners into the market”, he said. Meanwhile, Norwegian’s Asian long haul network remains limited to its Bangkok services from Stockholm, Oslo and Copenhagen. Its ability to add further Asian routes is currently held back by the limited availability of traffic rights through Russian air space.
787 Dreamliners and updated 777X will transport the number of people that used to require a jumbo jet will enable airlines like Norwegian to have multiple flights per day on the same route. This will mean they can compete for the international business traveller. This will provide better economics for discount international carriers.
Norwegian is using about 11 long range Boeing 787 Dreamliner planes for their current international flights. They will be adding about 10 Dreamliners each year, which will be used to increase the routes and frequency of flights. They will use 737 Max planes to fly from the east coast of the US to Europe.
By the of 2017, Norwegian will have twice their international fleet of 787s.
This could see fairly frequent one way West coast US to Europe fares below $150 one way. Currently prices occasionally get below $200 one way.
By the end of 2018, Norwegian long haul fleet will triple its current size and will likely see fairly frequent one way West coast US to Europe fares below $100 one way.
Other airlines have tried a low-fare approach on long-haul flights, with little success. But Bjorn Kjos, Norwegian’s ebullient chief executive, is confident that his unconventional approach will allow the airline to offer fares 50 percent cheaper than the competition’s.
Boeing 787 Dreamliners have longer range and can connect secondary international airports like Oakland and Sweden directly with no transfers.
Direct flights to non-hub airports means existing airlines cannot block out the gates at the hubs.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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