While Norwegian Air Shuttle is still attempting to claw its way out of a financial pit of despair, a team led by Erik G. Braathen, one of the initial investors of Norwegian Air, plans to establish a new Norway based air carrier.
A new airline should become a strong operator of Norway’s domestic routes as well as direct flight operations in Europe, according to a press release on October 7, 2020. The airline is scheduled to start up in 2021.
“We are passionate about Norwegian aviation. However, we do not believe that the market will return to its previous state before the corona pandemic hit. We are using all our experience and knowledge to build a new, Norwegian airline, adapted to the new economic reality and the passengers’ demand”, said Braathen, the leader of the new air carrier management team.
It is not yet decided what type of aircraft will make up the new airline’s fleet. According to the statement, the new Norwegian carrier will operate either five Boeing 737-800s or five Airbus A320s.
The new operator plans to expand up to 400 employees by 2022 – all the crew on board will be covered by Norwegian collective labor agreements, stated in the press release.
“We believe it is the right time to start a new airline. We will be able to lease modern aircraft for a reasonable price, hire top-tier staff, and build a digital company with less complexity in order to lower cost and achieve profitability with fewer airplanes. We will be offering passengers competitive prices and an efficient and easy digital journey from ticket purchase to destination arrival”, added Braathen.
Braathen had been a board member of Norwegian Air Shuttle in 2002-2009. He had also been a chairman of the board from 2004-2009.
According to the statement, the new airline’s management team, led by Braathen, consists of 5 other initiators, who have already gained experience in the Norwegian aviation industry.