…so Norse Atlantic picks up the long-haul baton

Bernie Baldwin

Norse Atlantic Airways is a new low-cost, low-fare airline created to offer flights using Boeing 787 Dreamliners between Europe and the USA.

The carrier is aiming to begin flight operations in December 2021.

Led by entrepreneur Bjørn Tore Larsen, the company was launched with its investors – one of whom is former Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos – having already secured shares valued at $24 million.

In its launch news release, Norse Atlantic said would “offer routes that have proven to be both popular and profitable, and will initially fly between the US and Europe, serving destinations such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Paris and Oslo”. The company aims eventually to broaden out to include destinations in Asia. “However, growth will be based exclusively on demand and profitability,” the airline declares.

“International tourism has been hit hard by the pandemic, and the market for intercontinental flights is currently almost gone,” Larsen notes. “But a new era is coming as the global vaccine programme is completed. People will once again go on vacation, visit friends and family, and travel for business. Norse Atlantic Airways will be there to offer attractive and affordable flights to the leisure traveller and the cost-conscious business traveller.”

Several executives with international aviation experience comprise the Norse Atlantic Airways management team. CEO and key shareholder Bjørn Tore Larsen’s experience includes co-founding OSM Aviation and expertise in international shipping. Chief Operating Officer Espen Høiby previously served as OSM Aviation CEO and co-founder. He has also served as Chief of Operations Oslo at SAS. Chief Financial Officer James Lightbourn brings experience in international finance within the transportation sector.

Other key roles will be held by executives with work experience from some of the world’s leading legacy and low-cost airlines.

The first 787s for the fleet have been secured through lease deals with affiliates of AerCap. The initial fleet will comprise six Boeing 787-9s and three Boeing 787-8s. Delivery of the first aircraft is scheduled to take place shortly before the airline’s maiden flight, planned for December 2021.

Deliveries of the remaining aircraft is scheduled to be concluded no later than the end of the first quarter of 2022. The lease terms are approximately eight years for the 787-8s and approximately 12 years for the 787-9s.

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