Upstart transatlantic low-cost airline Norse Atlantic has signed a lease agreement for six more second hand Boeing 787 Dreamliners through leasing company BOC Aviation. The deal brings Norse Atlantic’s fleet size to 15 aircraft with plans for the airline to launch commercial operations on key transatlantic routes by December 2021.
Norse Atlantic has been created by a group of executives linked with failed long-haul airline Norwegian but the management team have been keen to stress that the new carrier is in no way linked to the old company which continues to operate as a short-haul carrier in Europe.
The aircraft fleet, however, will be familiar to anyone who flew Norwegian before it exited the long-haul market. The airline had already secured nine ex-Norwegian Boeing 787’s and the additional six Dreamliners were also in use by Norwegian but leased through BOC Aviation.
Norse Atlantic says it managed to get the aircraft at “attractive rates” and with flexible payment terms. The leasing agreement is for a term of 16 years.
“We very much look forward to welcoming customers on both sides of the Atlantic on board these state-of-the-art aircraft as soon as demand for transatlantic travel resumes,” commented Norse Atlantic founder Bjørn Tore Larsen on Monday.
Larsen previously supplied Norwegian with staff through his OSM Aviation business but in order to fend off criticism about working conditions, Larsen says Norse Atlantic will be a better and more responsible employer.
In May, the airline reached a tentative pre-hire agreement with the powerful U.S. flight attendant union the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA-CWA). The agreement includes a full contract, industry-leading pay and job protections, healthcare, and a 401k, along with other benefits.
One pilot’s union, though, has vowed to fight Norse Atlantic’s bid to win DOT approval to operate transatlantic flights over what it calls a ‘flag of convenience business model.
If Norse Atlantic gets Department of Transportation (DOT) approval to start flights to the United States, Larsen hopes to initially connect Miami, Los Angeles and New York City with London, Paris and Oslo.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.