Norwegian to launch LGW NYC flights in 2013

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  AMcWhirter 21 Oct 2013
at 12:33
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  • Anonymous

    FormerlyDoS
    Participant

    See para #3 of the this DT article

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10387007/Gatwick-boss-resignation-threat-over-new-runway.html

    In this case, the BT team beat the DT to release the news, yesterday.

    http://www.businesstraveller.com/news/norwegian-to-fly-london-gatwick-to-the-united-s

    It will be interesting to see if this succeeds. I’d be happy to look at it, so long as it was in the premier cabin.


    SimonS1
    Participant

    I’ve never used them but living near Gatwick I would consider.

    TBH I know very little about Norwegian beyond the headline stuff of newish planes and free wifi.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    I have written a detailed piece about whether long-haul, low-cost can succeed. It’s in the current issue.

    This Norwegian Air development is interesting. But one wonders if it will suit the needs of business people bearing in mind the limited flight frequency plus the fact that Norwegian Air has tight turnarounds in the USA. Will that impact on punctuality ?

    For example, the LGW-JFK service is allowed only 90 mins to turnaround at the US end. The LGW-LAX service is also allowed 90 mins. Can these figures be achieved in the busy summer months ?

    Certainly in the early months of operations, short turnarounds and B787 reliability have meant that timekeeping hasn’t been good at all.

    As we wrote recently, the carrier’s on-time performance on its current two B787 routes ex-Scandinavia to JFK and Bangkok had dropped to just 49 per cent.

    http://www.businesstraveller.com/news/norwegian-grounds-b787-until-further-notice

    And still one of its B787s remains out of service while Boeing carries out checks so passengers are being flown on one of Hi-Fly’s A340s.

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/10/10/us-norwegian-boeing-idUSBRE9981CK20131010


    FormerlyDoS
    Participant

    Alex

    You raise some very good questions, in my opinion.

    It will be interesting to see if DY can succeed – I really like their Euro services, very much.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Thank you, FDos.

    There’s an interesting piece in today’s Irish Independent about the fact that Norwegian Air is setting up an office in Dublin in order for it to a) administer its long-haul services from the UK and b) avoid Norwegian staff costs.

    Norwegian Air will need an Irish AOC to operate long-haul from the UK. It’s unclear whether a temporary one has been granted or whether it will be issued with a pemanent one by the end of the year, according to the Irish Independent.

    http://www.independent.ie/business/irish/lowcost-norwegian-to-launch-longhaul-flight-service-based-in-ireland-29670162.html


    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    It is ashame there Business proposition isn’t very strong – otherwise they could have done very well – but the current offering won’t attract Business Travellers used to a flat bed.

    I also have a suspicion that BA will announce FLL as a new route very soon.


    FormerlyDoS
    Participant

    Tim

    Yes, it’s a premium eco offer and anyone needing a flat bed won’t be satisfied with it.

    I sometimes use Y+ on day flights to NYC, though, so I would think about it, if it fitted my schedule. I keep sayiung the same thing about Openskies premium eco, too, but haven’t made it work as yet.


    TimFitzgeraldTC
    Participant

    Hi FDoS

    Yep – it will work for flights out on the day sector. I suppose if a last minute trip comes up then a one way Norwegian and then a one way back on a points redemption (if available) could be a way to do it. Buying a one way back Business isn’t normally worth it – but depends where you are going to I guess (but assuming coming back to London fares can be a tad high).

    Ashame about the Business product (or lack of it and a Premium product). Flying from Gatwick is much better for me and a lot of people I look after and I’d have been tempted if the seat was better (even if not quite 100% flat).


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    That attractive fare of £300.70 return for LGW-JFK in August 2014 has quickly risen in price.

    On Friday evening, Norwegian Air was charging £480.70 for similar travel dates in August. And then you have to add-on £30 for luggage and meals which means a total of £510.70

    Yes, the major carriers are still more expensive. But the likes of BA will narrow the gap on price when they hold “seat sales” nearer the time of travel.


    openfly
    Participant

    I would rather pay extra to fly on a legacy carrier, especially BA or Virgin, to cover myself for when things go wrong. As a card holder, it is nice to use the lounges to wind down before the flight rather than hang around in a noisy, crowded terminal.

    Lots of “low-cost” offerings have come and gone over the years on the Atlantic. Norwegian will appeal to the bargain hunters, but as we have already seen, the fares are creeping up towards the legacy offerings.

    Good luck Norwegian, but not for me.


    KRIyengar
    Participant

    Alex: A couple of points I’d like to raise in this connection —

    1. I agree that tight turnarounds at destinations thousands of miles from where aircraft and crews are based worsen the impact of knock-on effects in case of delays, especially when the number of aircraft involved is small. However, having said that, tight turnarounds between long-haul flights are not unique to Norwegian Air Shuttle. Emirates also has some pretty tight turnarounds. For example, its aircraft spend just two hours on the ground between flights at Houston George Bush Intercontinental and Washington Dulles. Using these examples, one also has to keep in mind that the routes involved are even longer than Norwegian’s planned ex-UK long-haul routes and that the aircraft involved are even bigger — Boeing 777-300ERs vs. Boeing 787-8s. This makes any knock-on effects as a result of unforeseen lengthy delays even worse than for Norwegian, which is only mitigated (to some extent) by the fact that Emirates’ far bigger size (in long-haul terms) makes it much easier to find replacement aircraft at short notice.

    2. Although I also agree with you that the low frequency of Norwegian’s planned long-haul routes from the UK to prime business destinations in the US such as NY and LA make these flights unattractive for frequent travellers (regardless of whether they travel on business or not), this may be conditioned by the number of aircraft at Norwegian’s disposal in the start-up phase and the availability of suitable peak-time slots at Gatwick. As Norwegian’s 787 fleet expands, it is likely to increase frequencies on these routes to make its schedules more attractive to passengers who value frequent flights and are prepared to pay a premium for this. However, this depends on the availability of additional peak-time slots at Gatwick, which are in increasingly short supply. This also explains why Norwegian is so keen on having a second runway at Gatwick.

    3. Operating low-frequency services to these destinations (from both Scandinavia and the UK) may also be a temporary competitive tactic not to attract too much attention from the established transatlantic legacy airlines to Norwegian’s fledgling long-haul operation to enable it to gain critical mass and avoid the same fate as the late Sir Freddie Laker’s Skytrain several decades ago.


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Hello KRIyengar Thanks for making these points.

    In response … I would like to add that US airports like Houston and Washington Dulles would not be as busy as JFK and LAX where Norwegian Air will be turning its planes around in 90 mins. By the way, it’s also 90 mins for the FLL turnaround.

    It is true that Norwegian has built in recovery time at Gatwick but one must remember that this airport has only one runway. There have been cases in the past where this single runway has had to be closed owing to an incident and this has disrupted airline schedules for hours. In addition it must be noted that Norwegian expects to operate all these three US routes with a single B787 which I think is brave for a new plane type.

    I take your point about Emirates’ longer flight times and two hour turnarounds. But once aircraft are in level flight then it’s unlikely they will encounter a delay. Delays normally occur on the ground.


    SergeantMajor
    Participant

    Does Norwegian even have a premium cabin? I couldn’t find it on their website…

    PS system still appallingingly slow….


    AMcWhirter
    Participant

    Hello SergeantMajor

    Yes it does. But more like premium economy than business class. Note that the premium cabin is actually configured seven across 2-3-2. This is unclear from the photo.

    Here’s our piece from a year ago:

    http://www.businesstraveller.com/news/norwegian-unveils-b787-details

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