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Norwegian hasn’t been going through the best of time of late with but with a big restructuring underway and a number of creditors placated (at least for the time being), the airline is now looking to increase services on some of its high-value routes as its quest for profitability continues.
A number of these high-value routes are for travel between the US and Europe and Norwegian’s recent schedule updates suggest that a lot of these routes will be seeing increased service next summer season (when compared to summer 2019).
Here are the latest frequency changes:
Austin – London – 4 flights/week (up from 3 flights/week)
Boston – Paris – 5 flights/week (up from 4 flights/week)
Denver – London – 4 flights/week (up from 3 flights/week)
Denver – Paris – 4 flights/week (up from 3 flights/week)
Fort Lauderdale – Oslo – 3 flights/week (up from twice weekly)
Los Angeles – Barcelona – 7 flights/week (up from 6 flights/week)
Los Angeles – Madrid – 5 flights/week (up from 4 flights/week)
Los Angeles – Paris – 10 flights/week (up from 7 flights/week)
Los Angeles – Rome – 5 flights/week (up from 4 flights/week)
New York – Paris – 9 flights/week (up from 7 flights/week)
Oakland – Oslo – 3 flights/week (up from 2 flights/week)
San Francisco – Barcelona – 4 flights/week (up from 3 flights/week)
San Francisco – London – 7 flights/week (up from 5 flights/week)
Tampa -London – 3 flights/week (up from 2 flights/week)
Most of these routes will be seeing a single weekly flight added and, while that may not seem like much, taken as a whole that’s a significant amount of capacity that Norwegian will be adding across the Atlantic.
Norwegian is one of the airlines that has been hit hardest by the grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft but the issues with the MAX will have little to no effect on whether all these extra flights go ahead (none of these routes are scheduled to be operated by the MAX).
What will have an effect on Norwegian’s ability to deliver on these new flights (apart from its finances) is the situation surrounding the airline’s 787 Dreamliners which have been causing it almost as many headaches as the MAX.
Dreamliners with Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines have had issues all around the world (and for quite some time) thanks to unexpected excessive wear and tear on the blades and the compressors and Norwegian has really suffered because of this.
The airline has seen multiple Dreamliners grounded out of safety concerns and has even had to lease aircraft to cover some of its routes while the Dreamliners are being attended to, so unless these issues have been addressed and resolved come next summer there is no way that Norwegian will be able to fly the schedules proposed above.
I’m a big fan of Norwegian because its presence in the transatlantic market keeps the mini cartels that have been allowed to form from increasing fares across the board.
The health of Norwegian is as important for those of us who don’t fly with the airline as it is for those who do so I really hope that it can deliver on the new flights it has scheduled…but I’ll wait to see the issues with the Dreamliners resolved before I get too excited about the prospect of more transatlantic service.