Start-up Norse Atlantic Airways has taken delivery of its first aircraft, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, ahead of starting transatlantic flights in Spring 2022.
Norse is aiming to have a fleet of 12 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners and three Boeing 787-8 Dreamliners. It is currently recruiting staff as it prepares to launch operations in 2022.
Norse Atlantic is hoping its low-cost long-haul travel model will appeal to both leisure and “cost-conscious” business customers. It plans to connect Oslo with certain cities in the United States.
“We believe that transatlantic travel will resume with full force once the pandemic is behind us,” Bjørn Tore Larsen, CEO and founder of Norse Atlantic Airways, said in a statement on December 20, 2021. “People will want to explore new destinations, visit friends and family and travel for business.”
Transatlantic travel looks set to be a key battleground for carriers in 2022. Icelandic low-cost carrier PLAY has also announced its first routes, using narrow-body aircraft to connect east coast US cities with Europe via a stop at its hub in Reykjavik.
JetBlue (JBLU) has also commenced services using narrow-body aircraft and established carriers such as British Airways and Delta will be looking to defend their market share.
Norse Atlantic, however, is going for non-stop routes using larger aircraft.
“The delivery of our first Dreamliner marks an important milestone for us at Team Norse as it brings us one step closer to the launch of attractive and affordable transatlantic flights,” Larsen added.
Its first Dreamliner is on lease from BOC Aviation, with Norse saying it has achieved an “attractive rate”, including a “power-by-the-hour” arrangement at the start of the lease.
Norse Atlantic is planning to lease six 787-9 aircraft from BOC, with the remaining nine aircraft to come from AerCap.
The new Norwegian airline said deliveries of aircraft will continue until April, with all the aircraft being parked at Oslo Airport for now until operations start.
The carrier plans to name its planes after national parks. The first is named Rondane, which is one of Norway’s largest national parks.