Beginning in Spring 2022, Norse Atlantic Airways will operate the first of 15 Boeing 787 Dreamliners on long-haul flights between the United States and Scandinavia, the United Kingdom, and mainland Europe.
On Monday, the 787-9 Dreamliner was flown from Poland to Oslo, where it will be stored until April of next year, when the upstart low-cost carrier aims to take advantage of a post-pandemic boom in travel demand.
Norse Atlantic will lease three shorter 787-8 Dreamliners in addition to the 12 mid-length 787-9 Dreamliners. Norwegian used to fly the entire fleet before abandoning its long-haul goals as part of a massive restructure meant to carry the airline through the pandemic.
Bjrn Tore Larsen, the founder of Norse Atlantic, was previously associated with Norwegian since one of his companies provided Norwegian with outsourced cabin staff and pilots. Other Norwegian executives, including the airline’s founder Bjorn Kjos, are also on the board.
Despite the obvious ties to Norwegian, Larsen insists that Norse Atlantic is a separate company that will function in a very different way.
Norse Atlantic has gone on a charm offensive with staff organizations in order to avoid a potential stumbling block in obtaining a U.S. air operators permit, and has already won over the country’s largest flight attendant.
Pilot and cabin crew organizations in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom have backed the Norse Atlantic’s intention to resume low-cost long-haul flights across the Atlantic.
“We believe that transatlantic travel will resume with full force once the pandemic is behind us,” Larsen commented on Monday. “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 Dreamliners to both the leisure and cost-conscious business traveler.”
The remaining Dreamliners are planned to be delivered until April 2022. They’ll all be decked out in Norse Atlantic’s new livery, which is inspired by Norwegian longships.
With the first aircraft named Rondane, the jets will be named after prominent national parks in the nations that Norse Atlantic flies to.
Norse Atlantic will avoid large U.S. gateway airports in favor of smaller, less expensive subsidiary airports.
Oslo to Fort Lauderdale, Ontario (California), and New York Stewart are the first destinations.
In addition, the airline intends to establish bases in London and Paris.
The airline has not yet revealed what the interior of its Dreamliners will look like, although it is expected to be the same as what Norwegian installed when the planes were new.
Norse Atlantic has promised in-flight WiFi, USB device charging, and on-demand food and beverage orders, all of which Norwegian has already provided.
Ticket sales are expected to begin three months prior to the first flight.