MIAMI – Norse Atlantic Airways is so new it does not yet have an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) or International Air Transport Association (IATA) code but it does have firm orders for its Dreamliner fleet.

The new carrier has announced a pending order with BOC Aviation, a subsidiary of the Bank of China, for six Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, with deliveries planned for December 2021 and for a term of 16 years per aircraft, bringing the carrier’s total fleet to 15 aircraft as indicated by Norse Atlantic in its press release.

Norse Atlantic entered into its first lease agreement on March 2021 with AerCap for a total of nine Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners. That deal consists of six used Boeing 787-9s, as well as three Boeing 787-8s. All of the aircraft will use Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines.

The deal entered with BOC Aviation, based on a competitive and flexible lease structure, will allow an adaptable introduction of the machines, particularly during the airline start-up operations which will begin during a yet critical time for air transport in general and for the long-haul sector in particular.

Norse Airways future destinations – Image: Norse Atlantic Airways website

Filling the Norwegian Air Void

Moving forward, Norwegian Air (DY) will solely focus on short and medium-haul flights, while Norse Atlantic will be filling the void that DY left in the long-haul market.

The plan followed by Norse Atlantic appears to be similar to that of DY before the carrier was critically affected by the Covid crisis and abandoned the long-haul sector. The new airline is set to offer “affordable transatlantic travel” by implementing a single, fuel-efficient, and environment-friendly type of aircraft.

According to the Norse Atlantic Airways website, the carrier’s planned schedule includes services from Oslo (OSL), London-Gatwick (LGW), and Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), and New York, to an unspecified airport, but also anticipates further new unspecified destinations. The first flight is set to take off in December 2021.

To keep expenses down, the newcomer promises high cabin utilization. To make this approach work, Norse will need to form alliances with feeder airlines on both sides of the Atlantic. While there might be such an alliance with DY, throughout its stay in the US, other airlines and unions cried foul, claiming the airline established an international company in Ireland solely to skirt Norway’s severe labor rules.

“Norse will approach labor relations differently from the start,” said Larsen in a joint press release with the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA). As reported by Forbes, Norse started off by signing a “recognition agreement” with the International Transport Federation, before turning to specifics in the US.

The newco then announced a pre-hire agreement for up to 700 US-based flight attendant (FA) jobs with AFA, which amounts to nearly 50,000 FAs at 17 airlines.

Comments from Norse Atlantic Airways, BOC Aviation CEO

Bjørn Tore Larsen, founder and CEO of Norse Atlantic, commented, “We are pleased to expand our leasing relationships to include a lessor the caliber of BOC Aviation as we grow our fleet and continue to build our organization for take-off.

"We very much look forward to welcoming customers on both sides of the Atlantic onboard these state-of-the-art aircraft as soon as the demand for transatlantic travel resumes." Bjorn Tiore Larsen, founder and CEO of Norse Atlantic Click To Tweet

Robert Martin, Managing Director and CEO of BOC Aviation welcomed Norse Atlantic among its customers by saying, “We are delighted to welcome Norse as a new customer as we support the airline’s plans to serve the low-cost intercontinental market with fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliners. We look forward to building on this new relationship with Norse and working with the airline on its future fleet requirements.”

Norse Atlantic Airways, based in Arendale and flying under its own AOC, was founded in March 2021 by Bjorn Tore Larsen, the former founder of the Norwegian Air Shuttle. He holds 63% of shares either directly or via his company BT Larsen along with major shareholders Bjorn Kise and Bjorn Kjos, the latter being also the ex Norwegian Air Shuttle CEO. The airline is listed on the Euronext Growth exchange in Oslo.

Article sourced on Norse Atlantic Airways press release

Featured image: Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways