a plane flying in the sky

Remember the times before the pandemic when it wasn’t impossible to find $199 round trip flights to Europe? There was a reason for that. This low cost, long haul airline called ‘Norwegian’ was shaking things up, with crazy low fares that effectively included nothing but a seat and a space in an overhead bin.

If you wanted anything from a drink to a hot meal, or a checked bag, it was extra. The idea caught on like wildfire, and soon thereafter, all the “classic” airlines were offering their own dysfunctional version of “basic economy” to compete.

But then came a freak global pandemic, travel died and the heavily debt strapped low cost, long haul airline called ‘Norwegian’ went bust. Well, kinda. It gave up on long haul flights in favor of protecting a small European network.

But thanks to the never ending amusement and joy that capitalism can bring, the airline managed to basically screw its creditors and debt obligations and immediately re-form as a new entity, without all the “baggage”.

That “new” entity is called Norse Atlantic, and it just achieved a significant milestone in bringing cheap, no frills flights back to the USA.

Norse Atlantic Gets Operators License

a plane flying in the sky

An absolutely crucial step in flying passengers in the United States is getting an ‘Air Operators License’, which is administered by the FAA. This is a rightfully cumbersome process designed to ensure the utmost in safety and reliability.

Norse Atlantic has now been granted a ‘Foreign Operators Certificate’, which means a primary hurdle to beginning flights has been cleared. In the never ending irony of the new operation, the team just received delivery of its first Boeing 787 with a fresh new paint job, which covered up that of the previous owner… Norwegian.

Norse Atlantic is helmed by a few Bjorn’s, including Bjørn Tore Larsen, who was a part of Norwegian, Bjørn Kjos who founded Norwegian, and Bjørn Kise who is also a part of the operation.

It’s kinda like McDonalds going out of business to renegotiate debts and then opening a new group called WacDonalds the next week, with the same store fronts, grills and everything else. It’s as admirable and amusing as it is “WTF”.

a tower with trees in front of it

Great News For Low Transatlantic Fares

Anyway, you care because those super low fares which make Europe more affordable than DisneyWorld should likely return within the year.

Whenever there’s an uptick in interest in transatlantic travel — likely as restrictions and testing begins to wane — the new Norse Atlantic should be ready and waiting to whisk customers to the best places in Europe on the cheap. When they start offering prices on the cheap, others airlines will need to as well, so everyone may win.

Initial services are expected out of Stewart Airport in Newburgh, New York, about two hours out of the city, as well as places like San Bernadino, California as well as Florida, with service to Fort Lauderdale. London, Paris and Oslo are likely first destinations in Europe.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Don’t be so dismissive and sarcastic. Bankruptcy law and corporate legal structure have allowed many companies to shed debt, refinance and effectively start over for years. You act like this is something new.

    You may not like it but those are the rules and any business can utilize them (including major US airlines that walked away from leases and, in some cases, pension obligations.

    1. I have no problem with it. I just see this as one of the most comical cases of such behavior. I make plenty of positive points that they bring a great product to marketplace.

  2. Also worth noting that Norwegian (short haul) is still in business. People who were once with Norwegian may now manage, work for, or invest in Norse Atlantic, but it is a genuinely different organisation.

  3. Did you actually do any research before writing this? Norse is an entirely new airline, and is not formed from any parts of Norwegian. It’s CEO was screwed by Norwegian when they cut ties to OSM Aviation, which he owned. Yes, some INVESTORS were formally part of Norwegian, but Norse is a completely separate and new company formed by independent parties.

  4. Delighted if Norse Atlantic or ” old norwegian” start flying again to the States. I used to fly with them to JFK and LAS business class for little more than economy costs. Great service, seating was great and added bonus for me, they flew out of/into LGW. Not sure any of their new routes will suit me, aside from maybe San Bernadino ( if there is a flight from there to Las Vegas ). Hoping their fares will be worth the wait.

  5. I wish Norse well, but I am not going two hours out of my way to fly them. Until Norse starts service to EWR and/or JFK their service is of no value to me.

  6. As one of the many ticket holders who were left holding the bag and got basically no compensation for the tickets for me and my two kids, I still have a bitter taste in my mouth and think that the Norwegian government, as the entity that guaranteed Norwegian Air, should have helped to compensate the many average people who had spent a lot of money on tickets.

    1. @Alpha Bond, I am in the same boat, or should I say JET as you, no compensation whatsoever for flights from the US to Paris and Rome from August of 2020, was issued points that are useless for a US citizen, not happy.

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