Norse Atlantic Finally Puts Tickets On Sale With Another Attempt at Low-Cost Transatlantic Air Travel

Norse Atlantic Airways has become the latest carrier to try and make low-cost transatlantic air travel between the United States and Europe a serious and sustainable business venture.

The Oslo-based airline finally put tickets on sale on Thursday with the first flight set to depart Norway bound for New York JFK on June 14. The startup is promising entry-level fares starting at $129 one-way, although the price only includes a small laptop bag or rucksack and no meals.

Founded by Norwegian businessman Bjorn Tore Larsen, the airline has been forced to delay its debut on several occasions. First, the pandemic was the cause of several hiccups and then Russia’s invasion of Ukraine put another kink in Larsen’s plans for transatlantic dominance.

The airline initially intends to fly from Oslo to New York JFK, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando and Los Angeles but further routes in the United States are expected to be announced soon.

Norse has also secured slots at London Gatwick airport for transatlantic services, while Larsen also has plans to launch operations from Paris and Rome. The business model is uncannily similar to the one that Norwegian Air Shuttle tried but failed to make profitable.

Norwegian abandoned its long-haul operations at the outset of the pandemic but Larsen (who provided crew to Norwegian through his third-party aviation staffing company) has decided to revive the concept by leasing Norwegian’s old Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Some of the ex-Norwegian team have helped Larsen make his dream become a reality but the new carrier promises some significant changes – in particular, Norse is directly employing staff and the airline negotiated a flight attendant contract in the United States months ago in order to head off any potential criticism.

“This is a major milestone for all of us at Norse Atlantic Airways and a testament to the dedication and determination of colleagues from across the airline who have made this possible,” Larsen commented on Thursday.

“Norse now offers the lowest one-way point to point transatlantic fares in the market. Whether travelling on business, leisure or simply wishing to explore the world, Norse now makes it possible for everyone to explore for less,” he continued.

Although Larsen’s leased Dreamliners have had a repaint on the outside, the interiors will pretty much be the same as what Norwegian offered. The two-class configuration offers a large economy cabin with seatback entertainment and USB charging, while a smaller Premium cabin will offer recliner style seats with 43” seat pitch.

The lowest advertised fares will be known as ‘Light’ and only offer customers the choice to bring on a small hand luggage item that fits under the seat in front of them.

Passengers will be able to buy additional luggage, as well as meals starting from $20 or upgrade to a Classic or Plus fare where all of these extras are bundled together.

If all goes to plan, Norse intends to launch services to Fort Lauderdale from June 18, Orlando from July 5 and Los Angeles from August 9. Larsen originally planned to serve New York and Los Angeles from smaller, secondary airports. That idea has now been abandoned in favour of JFK and LAX.