MIAMI – Plans were revealed today for a new long-haul, low-cost airline, Norse Atlantic Airways, to fill the gap left by embattled Norwegian Airlines (DY).

Norse Atlantic will aim to enter the long haul, low-cost market as DY reorganizes and focuses on short-haul, intra-Europe operations. Similar to the long-haul business model of DY, Norse Atlantic will operate Boeing 787 aircraft. 

The new airline, set to be run by former Norwegian Airlines pioneer and executive, Bjørn Tore Larsen, plans to begin operations later this year.

Other executives include former OSM Aviation executives and the former Chief of Operations Oslo for SAS. All ranking executives have extensive experience working in the Nordic region as well as having experience working for DY.

Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Long-Haul Plans

A press release by the new airline details plans to begin operations to high-profile destinations such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and London among others.

Norse Atlantic also plans on expanding its route network to Asia, depending on growth and profitability among US destinations.

The Asian market was one that DY was unable to successfully break into. Although the airline at one point operated flights to Singapore and Thailand, none were sustainable for the airline and were subsequently canceled. 

The new airline is a potential opportunity for former DY long haul crew to find a new home in a similar environment.

Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Comments from Tore Larsen

Commenting on his new airline, Larsen stated, “We now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a brand-new airline from scratch. As the world reopens, the public needs an innovative, low-cost intercontinental airline with modern, more environmentally friendly- and fuel-efficient aircraft. 

He continued, “We have industry knowledge and have secured modern Dreamliners at very good terms. Norse Atlantic Airways will offer people the opportunity to travel between continents at affordable fares.”

Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Struggles for Norwegian

Norse Atlantic will need to prove the viability of the DY business model, which was tainted by unexpected challenges. 

DY’s aggressive expansion strategy paved the way for vulnerability to unforeseen complications, such as the significant issues with DY’s Boeing 787’s Trent 1000 engines, the global grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX, and the COVID-19 pandemic.

DY was forced to abandon all long-haul operations after a difficult three years, and will now operate a more lean version of their airline strictly on short and medium-haul routes using only Boeing 737 aircraft. 

An additional new airline, Flyr, will also be joining the Norwegian aviation market and will be focusing on short and medium-haul flights.  The transatlantic, long-haul, low-cost market has proved to be an exceptionally difficult market to conquer. 

We have seen many airlines with a similar business model fail, including Laker Airlines in the 1970s, Primera Air, Level Air, and most recently, DY.

The new airline has an opportunity to re-examine and adjust DY’s business model to learn from any mistakes the airline made in the past. 

Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Good Time to Start?

In fact, this may be the perfect time to start an airline. Global interest rates are low, and aircraft leasing rates are more competitively priced than ever. 

With vaccinations ramping up worldwide, many people who have been cooped up and unable to travel for over a year will be yearning to travel at a low cost.

Demand will surely be high, and supply for low-cost flights will be low due to the recent closures of various airlines.

Featured Image: Brandon Farris/Airways