MIAMI– Yesterday, Flyr (Norwegian word for flying) held a press conference detailing the formation of Norway’s newest carrier set to enter the domestic market and serve some European destinations to/from the country.
Airlines throughout the world have suffered over the last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Collectively, airlines have lost billions, with hundreds of aircraft now in long term storage with no sign of them returning.
However, there is new light for the airline industry with the unveiling of this new Norwegian airline, which, despite the pandemic, is now set to take aim at Norwegian Air (DY) and Wizz Air (W6).
A New Era
Flyr is expected to operate a fleet of between 28-30 Boeing 737-800 (B738) aircraft, in a 186 seat configuration. The airline is currently awaiting approval of its Air Operator’s Certificate which was submitted in October last year. The airline anticipates an on-time approval to begin operations in June this year.
The new airline also claims that flying will be “simplified, flexible, and customer-friendly” through the items listed. It also says it will be based on passenger demand. With such a level of innovation, this will no doubt place pressure on the already troubled DY and its network.
Regardless of the impending competition, the airline’s message is clear: “Flying is what we do best, and that is the only thing we plan to be doing.”
The airline has detailed its new route network in various stage to match the number of aircraft they have. The route network will be expanded when they receive deliveries over the next couple of years.
The airline will be primarily based at Oslo Gardermoen Airport (OSL), initially offering domestic routes within Norway, as well as offering limited routes into Europe.
Phase two will see routes across southern Europe added to destinations such as Athens and Rome. Finally, phase three will include destinations in the Canary Islands as well as seeing Turkey added to the network.
Who’s behind Flyr?
Flyr was started by Pilots with extensive experience from companies such as SAS (SK), DY, and Widerøe (7W). Since the initiative was launched in the autumn of 2020, Flyr now has over 30 employees in its ranks and is led by its CEO, Tonje Wikstrøm Frislid. The proposed carrier is currently looking for Crew Optimizers and Flight Planners, among other roles.
The airline will be fully funded by Arctic Securities, Carnegie, and SpareBank1 through a private capital funding structure of 600 million NOK (US$70m). The company is led from Norway, with an aircraft fleet, organization, and business model aimed at the Norwegian market.
We cannot say for sure whether the airline will be a success given the current state of the industry. The last year has offered unprecedented challenges for airlines across the world and there is no guarantee their model will thrive in the current climate. Flyr claims it is flexible enough to adapt its fleet to match market demand.
In addition, Flyr states it has already factored in the current state of the airline industry in its planning. The new airline is, however, an encouraging story in what has been a difficult year for airlines. Only time will tell as to whether this impressive-looking start-up will succeed in what will be no doubts another tough year for aviation.
Featured image: Flyr