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
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”.
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.