Norwegian Air Shuttle announced plans to enter the Romanian market by taking over some passenger flights to the country from the now indebted Blue Air.
The low-cost Norwegian airline will launch direct scheduled flights between Oslo Gardermoen Airport (OSL) and Bucharest Henri Coandă International Airport (OTP) on June 23, 2023. The new destination will be served twice a week, every Monday and Friday year-round, according to Norwegian Air Shuttle’s flight schedule for the upcoming summer season of 2023.
The route had previously been operated by Blue Air until September 6, 2022, when the air carrier suspended all operations. The Romanian carrier was forced to temporarily leave the Romanian market after the country’s government froze the airline’s accounts, leaving it unable to cover even its fuel costs.
According to the country’s tax authority, the National Fiscal Administration Agency (ANAF), the Bucharest-based carrier owes at least $3 million (RON14.4 million) of unpaid taxes to the country’s central government budget as well as a $7.65 million (RON36.3 million) debt due to the state social insurance budget. The airline is also overdue to make a payment of $2.57 million (RON12.2 million) in taxes to the health insurance budget.
Planning for a busy 2023 summer season
The Oslo-Bucharest route is not the only destination Norwegian Air Shuttle has added to its summer 2023 plans. The low-cost carrier is also looking to launch 13 new destinations from Norway, bringing its entire flight network to a total of 300 routes across 114 destinations.
The summer schedule, which Norwegian will run between April and October 2023, will also include new services between Oslo (OSL) and Tenerife (TFS), Sofia (SOF), Milan (MXP), Alanya (GZP), Porto (OPO), Bologna (BLQ), Thessaloníki (SKG), Bari (BRI) and Skopje (SKP) as well as between Bergen (BGO) and Milan (MXP). The carrier also plans to launch flights from Haugesund Airport (HAU) to Malaga (AGP) and Alicante (ALC).