Norse Atlantic unveiled its very first aircraft livery on Tuesday but while chief executive Bjørn Tore Larsen said the airline’s plans were still on track, he announced a six month delay to launch meaning the upstart low-cost carrier won’t now carry its first passengers until summer 2022.
Larsen said the airline had been forced to reassess its launch date because there was still a lot of uncertainty over when travel restrictions might be eased. Once a travel ban is finally lifted, it will then take time for demand to build and Larsen wants to open bookings at least three months before the first flight.
A summer launch would also fit into Norse Atlantic’s proposed business model to attract budget leisure travellers and families on transatlantic routes to popular U.S. destinations such as New York, Los Angeles and Florida.
As for the livery, Norse has sought inspiration from Viking longships for its fleet of 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Each aircraft will be named after a national park in the countries that Norse flies to.
“We strongly believe that there is a need for a new and innovative airline serving the low-cost intercontinental market with modern, more environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient aircraft as the world gradually reopens,” Larsen commented on Tuesday.
“Our plans are on track and operations will commence when travel restrictions are lifted and demand for transatlantic travel is back,” he continued.
“Based on the current situation, we anticipate that all our 15 Dreamliners will be flying customers between Europe and the U.S. next summer. We will launch our ticket sales approximately three months prior to first flight and will offer exciting destinations that have proven to be attractive.”
Norse Atlantic has established bases in Oslo, London and Fort Lauderdale and aims to have 1,600 employees by next summer. All employees will be permanently hired by Norse and talks are still under way with unions in Europe.
Larsen revealed few other details about the airline and did not say at what stage the carrier was at in obtaining an air operators certificate for the United States. Some U.S. unions have vowed to fight Norse Atlantic fearing it will try to undercut rivals with staff on subpar contracts.
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.