Norse Atlantic Airways has taken delivery of the first of 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners that it plans to ply on long-haul routes between the United States and Scandinavia, the UK and mainland Europe beginning Spring 2022.
The mid-length 787-9 Dreamliner was flown from Poland to Oslo on Monday where it will remain parked until April next year when the upstart low-cost carrier plans to capitalise on a post-pandemic resurgence in travel demand.
Along with 12 mid-length 787-9 models, Norse Atlantic will also lease three shorter 787-8 Dreamliners. The entire fleet used to be flown by Norwegian before the airline abandoned its long-haul ambitions as part of a major restructuring designed to get it through the pandemic.
Norse Atlantic is the work of entrepreneur Bjørn Tore Larsen who was previously linked with Norwegian because one of his businesses supplied Norwegian with outsourced cabin crew and pilots. The airline also has other Norwegian executives on its board, including the airline’s founder Bjorn Kjos.
Despite the obvious links with Norwegian, Larsen says Norse Atlantic is a completely separate business and will be operated very differently to Norwegian.
In a bid to avoid a potential stumbling block in winning a U.S. air operators certificate, Norse Atlantic has gone on a charm offensive with employee groups and has already managed to win over the largest flight attendant in the United States.
Pilot and cabin crew groups in Scandanavia and the UK are also on the side of the Norse Atlantic and have welcomed its decision to restart low-cost long-haul flights across the Atlantic.
“We believe that transatlantic travel will resume with full force once the pandemic is behind us,” Larsen commented on Monday. “People will want to explore new destinations, visit friends and family and travel for business. Norse will be there to offer attractive and affordable flights on our more environmentally friendly Dreamliners to both the leisure and cost-conscious business traveler.”
Deliveries of the remaining Dreamliners are expected to continue through April 2022. They will all sport Norse Atlantic’s new livery which is meant to evoke the design of Norwegian longships. The jets will be named after famous national parks in the countries that Norse Atlantic flies to with the first aircraft named Rondane.
Norse Atlantic will eschew major gateway airports into the U.S. and will instead fly to cheaper secondary airports. Initial routes are planned from Oslo to Fort Lauderdale, Ontario (California), and New York Stewart.
The airline also plans to open bases in London and Paris.
So far, the airline hasn’t revealed what the inside of its Dreamliners will look like but they are likely to feature the exact same interior that Norwegian installed when they were new. Norse Atlantic has promised in-flight WiFi, USB device charging and on-demand food and drink ordering – all features that Norwegian offered.
Ticket sales are expected to open approximately three months before the debut flight.
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.