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Norse Atlantic Eyes Cash-Rich Premium Leisure Passengers With New Routes to Barbados and Jamaica

Norse Atlantic Eyes Cash-Rich Premium Leisure Passengers With New Routes to Barbados and Jamaica

a plane on the runway

The low-cost, long-haul carrier Norse Atlantic Airways plans to take on British Airways and Virgin Atlantic on lucrative Caribbean routes to Barbados and Jamaica from its Gatwick base this winter, pivoting away from its focus on transatlantic flights to the United States.

Styling itself as an ‘affordable fares’ airline rather than a low-cost carrier, Norse says it will be able to offer return fares to Barbados for £449 per person, although that won’t include luggage, meals and other amenities that passengers may expect on a ‘premium leisure’ route to the Caribbean.

Fares to Montego Bay in Jamaica will start at £599, and a return flight to Kingston will cost as least £579 per person. A similar hand luggage-only fare with British Airways from Gatwick to Barbados in late October is being sold for £576.

Norse Atlantic is the brainchild of Bjørn Tore Larsen, a Norwegian entrepreneur who found success in creating a business that supplied cabin crew and other aviation workers to different airlines, including the failed low-cost, long-haul airline Norwegian Air.

After Norwegian pulled out of the long-haul market at the start of the pandemic, Larsen acquired Norwegian’s old fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners and is once again trying to make a success of the business model of discount transatlantic flying.

So far, results have been mixed, but the airline survived last winter despite poor load factors and is now announcing a slew of new routes that aim to tap into a seemingly insatiable appetite for premium leisure travel.

“We are very pleased to announce the launch of these new winter sun routes from London Gatwick,” commented Larsen on Wednesday. “More travellers will now be able to experience these amazing destinations thanks to our low fares and those wishing to reunite with friends and family will have greater choice during this traditionally high demand period of travel.”

If all goes to plan, Larsen claims Norse will become the second-largest long-haul carrier at Gatwick as measured by seat capacity with flights to New York, Washington, Los Angeles, Boston, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale also continuing throughout the winter season.

Flights to Barbados will operate daily from 29th October 2023, while flights to Montego Bay will also launch from 29th October but will only operate four times per week. Kingston will launch from 31st October with a thrice weekly service.

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