Norwegian announced plans and introduced new transatlantic (TATL) service from Rome to Newark, Los Angeles and Oakland from November 9, 2017 onwards with fares starting at as low as US$189 one way for economy and US$539 for Premium respectively.
The low-cost carrier plans to operate from Rome Leonardo Da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) to:
- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) 4x weekly from November 9, 2017 and expands to 6x weekly by February 2018. Fares (restrictions apply and including taxes) starts at US$189 one-way in economy, and US$539 in Premium.
- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) 2x weekly from November 11, 2017 and expands to 3x weekly from February 2018 onwards. Fares starts at US$229 one-way in economy and US$719 in Premium.
- Oakland International Airport (OAK) 2x weekly from February 6, 2017. Fares starts at US$229 one-way in economy and US$719 in Premium.
Norwegian will operate Boeing 787-8 and -9 aircrafts on these new flights. They have between 291 (259 economy and 31 Premium) to 344 (309 economy/35 Premium) seats. Each seat have access to a touch based inflight entertainment systems offering music, tv show, movies and flight tracking. Connectivity is available through USB ports (all seats) and AC power port (individual for Premium class/ 2 for every 3 seats for Economy).
Thomas Ramdahl, Norwegian’s Chief Commercial Officer said: “Rome is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and a favourite among Americans, so it was an obvious choice for us as we continue to expand our transatlantic presence. Soon Norwegian will offer more transatlantic routes than any other airline in the world. More transatlantic routes mean we will create more US and European jobs and offer travellers even more affordable fares.”
Conquering the US
Rome would be Norwegian’s US 13th destination in its network. It currently operates 52 transatlantic flights daily to 13 airports connecting to Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom. Instead of going head on with traditional full service carriers, the airline has been operating flights mostly to secondary, low cost or leisure hubs.
For the Rome non-stop service to the New York City area, it is competing against 1x daily from United Airlines at EWR, 1x daily American Airlines at JFK, 1x daily from Delta Air Lines, and 3x daily from Alitalia. While there are no non-stop service from the San Francisco area, the airline is competing 1x daily with Alitalia from Los Angeles International Airport. In all cases, the introductory fare will bring pricing pressure moving forward to Rome.
From a competitive standpoint, Norwegian is quickly becoming a powerhouse in Europe to US operations. It currently ranks in the number of US destinations served after Air Canada (80+ including ones operated by Air Canada Rouge/Express) and British Airways (19). It is the only European airline to have regular TATL service to Hartford’s Bradley International Airport (BDL) and Providence, Rhode Island’s T. F. Green Airport (PVD).
In a while, it is operating in a near monopoly space as there are no other low cost or ultra low cost carriers competing with Norwegian non-stop except for LEVEL (news) on routes serving between Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN) to OAK and LAX. With it comes to full service carriers, it competes heavily in the Nordic region with Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) (News on Aircraft Retrofit) at Stockholm Arlanda Airport (ARN), Copenhagen Airport (CPH), Oslo Airport (OSL).
Norwegian’s quick US expansion continues with 25 announced new routes in 2017. It will be one of the world’s first airlines to operate the new Boeing 737-MAX aircrafts (108 ordered with delivery starting in May 2017) on 12 short distance transatlantic routes to Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Norway, as well as three new routes to the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, from Providence, Rhode Island, and Fort Lauderdale.
Experience The Skies will do an in depth study on Norwegian and its impact to the US to Europe market in a later post.