Norse Atlantic Airways Secures Slots at London Gatwick, Adjusts Launch Plans
Norse Atlantic Airways has adjusted their launch of ticket sales and inaugural flight schedule due to current market conditions. The company will now start ticket sales in April and plans their first flight in June 2022. Norse has also secured London Gatwick slots.
On Tuesday (March 15, 2022), Norse Atlantic Airways announced that they have secured London Gatwick slots, and will adjust their tickets sales and launch schedule due to market uncertainties related to the tragic events unfolding in Ukraine, such as increasing fuel prices. The Gatwick slots were awarded to Norse by the UK airport slots coordinator at no cost. Norse will now launch ticket sales in April and expects to operate their first flights in June 2022, with service between Norway and select U.S. cities. The airline will then add service to European destinations including Paris and London as market conditions allow. Specific routes will be announced in April when the carrier launches ticket sales.
In Tuesday’s announcment, Norse Atlantic Airways’ Founder and CEO, Bjørn Tore Larsen, said,
“The tragedy unfolding in Ukraine creates uncertainties within international air transport that we take seriously. Norse’s flexible fleet arrangements, low cost base and strong financial foundation allow us to take a careful approach to launch. We are in a unique position as we have not yet started flying, which gives us the advantage to enter the market cautiously in line with demand and quickly adapt to unforeseen events. A gradual approach where ramp-up is exclusively driven by demand, will enable us to preserve our strong, debt-free balance sheet and cost base.
“We’re thrilled to have been awarded slots to operate flights to and from London Gatwick Airport as it gives us access to a very attractive market. We look forward to working closely with the great team at Gatwick Airport. We have the necessary flexibility to quickly adapt to unforeseen events and ramp up with more aircraft and affordable flights to exciting destinations as soon as the market situation allows. A highly motivated Team Norse and the fact that we currently only pay for our aircraft when they are in operation also gives us a competitive advantage.
“The current global situation makes it challenging to predict the demand for transatlantic travel. However, we strongly believe that the demand will bounce-back with full force because 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 and fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliners to both leisure and cost-conscious business travelers.”
Norse has already secured pilots and cabin crew members sufficient to operate their initial routes, and the company has established a pilot base in Oslo and a cabin crew base in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Training of pilot and cabin crew instructors has commenced with a steady ramp-up for crew to start to ensure crew costs are minimized until launch. Norse has also started cabin crew recruitment in Oslo and plans on establishing additional crew bases as operations increase. Additionally, the carrier has signed collective bargaining agreements with pilot and cabin crew unions in Norway, the US and the UK.
Founded in March 2021 by CEO and Major Shareholder Bjørn Tore Larsen, Norse Atlantic Airways plans on offering affordable transatlantic and European flights. The company’s head office is located in Arendal, Norway, and Norse has a second office in London. Once all 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners are delivered, the company expects to employ a dedicated group of 1,600 team members, both on the ground and in the air. Norse Atlantic will operate long-haul routes between Europe and the U.S., as well as flights within Europe including service to New York, Florida, Paris, London and Oslo, among others.
Source: Norse Atlantic Airways/Cision