Norwegian Air to operate new flights from Belfast to USBack to Forum
When Norwegian launched transatlantic flights with B787s there was endless coverage of the aircraft. But today’s announcement made little reference to the fact that all these routes will be operated by B737s.
But as I mentioned in our news piece these flights will be operated by B737 MAX aircraft which are specially adapted for long-haul transatlantic flights.
They have yet to enter service. Norwegian will be the first international operator of this B737 variant.
See our feature in our soon-to-be published March issue “Narrow margins.”23 Feb 2017
Actually @amcwhirter, I think the better way to think of the 737MAX aircraft is that they are adapted for short-haul transatlantic routes.
Interestingly, Michael O’Blarney has been hinting at this kind of service offering for years, but didn’t have the right kind of aircraft to deliver it. So I’m pretty sure he’s fuming that the Norwegians were quicker out of the blocks than FlyAndScare.
However, given that these craft are a mere variant of the all-737 FlyAndScare fleet, and that pilots would require only a type rating to fly them, I can’t imagine it will be long before O’Blarney will be in competition with Norwegian.
Which, of course, is great news for us passengers!23 Feb 2017
PhilipHart – Most of the points you raised I covered in our March issue feature “Narrow margins.”
I’ve now covered the new services from the Republic. These are equally important judging by the extra capacity they will bring to the market and especially to Cork and Shannon.24 Feb 2017
Norwegian are great for the tourist industry, not sure how much investment to NI ,outside of the atypical tourist market that they’ll attract .though.
Seems to me, it’s easier for business folk to travel from and to the North to Dublin than Upstate NY to Manhattan and back.
Alex is right about “Narrow Margins” and my concern is that Norwegian don’t generate new traffic, rather they poach price sensitive traffic from UA, AA and a lesser extent AC from the EDI limited goldfish bowl.
My advice to Yer Man across the Irish Sea is, use it or lose it! And that includes Icelandair’s legacy offering. .24 Feb 2017
It looks like they’ve sold out of almost all the cheap fares. At a glance, it looks like any 2 week return until October is around the £500 mark. I think I’d prefer one of the other direct flights from AA, UA or DL from Edinburgh to Newark or JFK for a similar price.24 Feb 2017
This new route is a puzzle. The limited number of £69 fares sold out in a flash. By the time one takes into account the higher fares, the extra fees for seat reservations, baggage, in-flight meals and the extra transportation costs in getting to and from an airport over seventy miles from New York, then the total cost can end up more than flying in and out of Dublin on a full service airline and having the advantage of pre-clearing US customs and immigration at Dublin before flight.
I simply cannot see the management/executives of any companies willing to invest in Northern Ireland being prepared to travel this route. Presumably Norwegian are getting a subsidy from the Northern Ireland Assembly to operate this route in much the same way United were subsidised before withdrawing. Does anyone know what level of subsidy is being provided?25 Feb 2017
I understand that Norwegian’s B737 MAX aircraft have not yet obtained ETOPS (Extended Range Twin Engine Operational Performance Standards) for 180 mins.
It means that, initially, when flying transatlantic they must take a more northerly routing to be within 60 mins of a diversion airport. This will add around 30 mins to the flight time.
With ETOPS approval for a 180 mins diversion aircraft take a more direct, southerly routing.
This information was not contained in the carrier’s media releases of last week.28 Feb 2017
A senior executive at Norwgeian’s UK office has confirmed the above info.
He says “Currently [the answer re ETOPS is] no but it is being worked on so maybe in time for [B737 MAX] launch.”28 Feb 2017