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When Norwegian burst on to the scene with its low-cost transatlantic fares just a few years ago a good number of its US routes operated in and out of secondary airports adjacent to the major cities which travelers want to visit.
While the airline still offers flights to a number of such airports (Stewart airport in New York for example), a recent change of strategy has seen Norwegian move some of its flights to the primary airports in the metropolitan areas it serves.
As of March this year Norwegian shifted its London Gatwick – Ft. Lauderdale flights to Miami as well as moving its Gatwick – Oakland flight to San Francisco, and now the airline has announced that Oakland will cede yet more flights to its bigger neighbor.
From the winter 2019 season, Norwegian will move its services to Paris and Barcelona from Oakland to San Francisco and all the indicators are that this will be a permanent move.
The San Francisco – Barcelona service will launch on 28 October 2019 and will operate twice weekly on the following schedule:
DY7076 SFO 19:40 – 15:40+1day BCN (Mon)
DY7076 SFO 13:40 – 09:40+1day BCN (Fri)
DY7075 BCN 08:25 – 11:40 SFO (Wed & Sun)
The San Francisco – Paris service will launch on 30 October 2019 and will operate twice weekly on the following schedule:
DY7080 SFO 13:40 – 09:20+1 day CDG (Wed & Sun)
DY7079 CDG 15:15 – 16:40 SFO (Mon)
DY7079 CDG 09:20 – 11:40 SFO (Fri)
Based on the days these flights are operating (and the flight times) it looks as if Norwegian will be using a single Boeing 787 Dreamliner to operate both routes.
How you view this news will depend on where you’re traveling to or from. If you’re a flyer for whom Oakland is the more convenient airport, then this is clearly bad news. If you’re based closer to SFO you’ll soon have more easy access to Norwegian’s low-cost deals across the Atlantic.
The biggest winners here are going to be visitors originating in Europe as the overwhelming majority will almost certainly prefer to fly into San Francisco International airport rather than Oakland airport as the majority will probably need a map to figure out where Oakland is!
Facilities at San Francisco International are also superior to those at Oakland (for example, SFO has a better choice of Priority Pass lounges) so, overall, I suspect these airport changes will be seen as a positive by most (although it can be quicker to get to some of San Francisco’s more popular areas from Oakland at certain times of day).