Norwegian Is Shaking Up The Transatlantic Market With The 737-MAX

Norwegian has been growing their transatlantic presence significantly over the past several years, and up until now all their transatlantic flights have been operated by 787s. However, soon Norwegian will be taking their transatlantic expansion to the next level, as they start taking delivery of their first Boeing 737-MAX aircraft, of which they have 108 on order.

Norwegian-737-Max

This is a plane that has the potential to shake up the transatlantic market, especially for low cost carriers.

Norwegian has announced their intentions to set up transatlantic bases at Stewart Airport (SWF), Hartford (BDL), and Providence (PVD). From there they plan on launching all kinds of transatlantic flights. Their immediate plans are to operate the following flights between the U.S. and U.K./Ireland:

Norwegian

Well, Norwegian’s new 737-MAX transatlantic flights are on sale as of today. Here’s how the new routes are described in the press release:

The airline will launch 10 new routes from Stewart International Airport north of New York City, T.F. Green Airport in Providence, RI, and Bradley International Airport in Hartford, CT, to Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland this summer.

Norwegian’s new routes from Providence to Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Edinburgh and Shannon are the first-ever year-round European routes for Rhode Island’s largest airport. From Stewart, New York’s Hudson Valley airport, Norwegian will be the first carrier to provide European service with four routes to Belfast, Dublin, Edinburgh and Shannon. Norwegian will also operate one route from Bradley, New England’s second largest airport, to Edinburgh.

Here are the full details of when these routes are being launched, and the frequencies we can expect (as you can see, most routes are operated a few times per week):

Year-round service to Edinburgh from Stewart International Airport will operate daily beginning June 15 for the summer season, and thrice weekly during the winter season; from Providence, flights will operate four times a week starting June 16 and twice weekly during the winter season; from Hartford, flights will operate thrice weekly beginning June 17, and twice weekly during the winter season. Days of operations will change between the summer 2017 and the winter 2017/2018 winter season.

Service to Belfast from Stewart International Airport will be thrice weekly during summer and twice weekly during winter as of July 1; twice weekly from Providence as of July 2 during summer. Days of operations will change between the summer 2017 and the winter 2017/2018 winter season.

Service to Dublin from Stewart International Airport begins on July 1 with daily flights during the summer and thrice weekly during the winter seasons; and from Providence, flights will operate five weekly flights starting July 2 during the summer and thrice weekly during winter. Days of operations from Providence will change between the summer 2017 and the winter 2017/2018 winter season.

Service to Shannon from Stewart International Airport will begin on July 2 with twice-weekly flights; and from Providence on July 3 with twice-weekly flights. Days of operations will change between the summer 2017 and the winter 2017/2018 winter season.

Year-round service to Cork from Providence will start on July 1 with three weekly flights during summer and a twice-weekly service during winter season. Days of operations will change between the summer 2017 and the winter 2017/2018 winter season.

Fares start at $65 one-way, though there’s very little availability at those prices.

Norwegian-1

Still, even the non-promotional fares are super cheap. Do keep in mind, however, that Norwegian charges for seat assignments, carry-ons, food, drinks, etc., so you’ll want to factor that in when deciding to fly with them.

Norwegian-Fare

Bottom line

In the near future we’re seeing the introduction of both the 737-MAX and A321 LR, both of which have the potential to shake-up the transatlantic market. These are fairly low capacity planes that could open up routes that might not otherwise be possible, and also cause low cost carriers to further disrupt markets that have otherwise been dominated by legacy carriers.

I’m sure some people will be interested in Norwegian’s new transatlantic routes, as we’re seeing roundtrip transatlantic fares of ~$200. Personally I’m most excited about JetBlue eventually starting transatlantic service with their excellent Mint product.

Would you consider flying a Norwegian 737 on a transatlantic flight if the price is right?

(Tip of the hat to TravelSkills)

Comments

  1. I mean the price is great and its no worse than flying JFK-LAX or IAD-LAX or BOS-LAX.

    So it’s something to consider, 6 hours of hell for a cheap ticket.

  2. that’s a long time on a narrowbody. Not for me, but I am sure there will be plenty of people willing to do it

  3. But theyre flying into rural US airports. Until they can do LON-NYC on a narrow body im not interested!
    @Ben

    SWF is about 1hour and 30 into Manhatten, not bad because JFK can be that sometimes. Plus immigration lines at SWF might be very short which is a bonus.

  4. I wonder if Stewart will, at some point, rebrand to a more deceptive airport name to try and draw more unknowing European tourists. You know, like a NYC version of a Barcelona-Girona or something of that nature.

  5. The interesting thing about this sale is that Congress wants to stop these flights. In the Irish Times, 108 Congress critters plead with the incoming Trump administration to stop the flights because they would be negative to the american aviation companies (you mean reduced prices and competition). The article also noted that the leader of this anti competition movement was Rep DeFrazio, who was noted to have received $822,000 in bribes…I mean campaign contributions from the Airlines in the past several years.
    Who ever said there was a free market should have their head examined. Keep the flights coming.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/business/transport-and-tourism/trump-urged-to-block-norwegian-air-s-ireland-us-flights-1.2923475

  6. The news of 737-Max been making me uncomfortable. I been following them for the last two years. I feel its going to raise the ticket prices, long term.

  7. That article from the Irish Times was published Jan 3, and the permit was published on Dec 2. Supposedly the permit had to be reversed within 60 days, which was up several weeks ago. What with tickets already on sale today, I’d say the legacies wasted their donations to DeFrazio, and might want to enquire about refunds. 😉

  8. Ben, Norwegian does not charge extra for carry-ons like the Basic Economy fares on United and American. On the regular Lowfare ticket, you are entitled to bring one suitcase/bag that fits the dimensions 55 x 40 x 23 cm and weigh less than 10 kg (22 lbs), in addition to a small item like a purse or PC-bag! Norwegian are actually among the best when it comes to allowed carry-ons in Europe, in contrary to e.g. WOW Air.

  9. DL, UA and AA have long been offering transatlantic 757 flights

    But How much of a market can there possibly be from Stewart or providence or even Hartford to Shannon, Cork or Belfast? Maybe if they were offering connections on to the rest of Europe. Otherwise it’s hard to see this being worthwhile.

  10. Providence RI is close enough to Bos at these fares to warrant many driving there or taking the train. US carriers fly single aisle on many teams con routes in US so bring it on time to end Aer Lingus monopoly from BOS

  11. On further thought, it was a fool’s errand anyway. Did they really think Trump was going to deny the permits, thus potentially scuttling the sale of many of those 108 Boeing aircraft?

  12. Aer Lingus operates a 757 from BDL to DUB, a decent airport to make connections all over Europe. The beautiful thing about this is you won’t need to actually fly Norwegian to benefit from lower fares resulting from competition. Bring it on!

  13. perfect for me. EDI has always been on my bucket list and I grabbed $288 RT a.i. SWF-EDI. Granted, the schelp from GCT up to SWF will be 1:45 including rail and any cab transfer, but for that price, I can’t whine.

    This will be my 2nd cheapest TATL airfare ever, only slightly above the $280 I paid for EWR-KEF on WOW Air.

  14. just had a look at DUB-BOS for weekend o/b 7th July, i/b 9th July
    (prices during all of July & August are similar with Norwegian)

    Delta 640 euro
    Aer Lingus 670 euro
    Norwegian 614 euro + 70 usd on the 1.5 hour bus journey (with quite a bit of waiting time)

    maybe Norwegian will become cheaper in a while … but they really aren’t looking attractive on this route at the moment.

  15. I thought Laker was cheap in the olden days at US$135 one way NY to London. I wonder if they will fill the bathrooms with luggage like they did on Laker

  16. EI would be $1000 PLUS without Norwegian based on my experiences (25 plus years on this route) with NO leg room. None. Last summer on Bos to Shannon even the Hobbits had leg room issues.

  17. I never got why some people make comments like, “7 hours is a long time to spend on a narrow-body.” That seems to imply that there’s something more uncomfortable about a narrow-body than a wide-body. Now if the narrow-body in question is an Embraer 170, then you may have a point. However, if the narrow-body in question is a Boeing 737, I assumed there wouldn’t be any different in passenger comfort, when compared to a wide-body. Am I wrong?

  18. Be VERY VERY careful flying on these carriers offering bottom barrel pricing. Bottom barrel pricing is as a result of bottom barrel contracted pilots, flight attendants and maintenance, and many other cheap shortcuts taken to undercut the safest airlines in the sky. Your life is worth more. Buyer be very beware. Don’t be a stupid consumer and risk your life on this carrier. The USA needs to put a stop immediately to this huge issue.

  19. Personally I find widebodies to be more comfortable and spacious seeming…even when the seats are packed in. The higher ceiling helps. In a narrowbody I just feel more cramped even if the seats and pitch are the same.

  20. No. Especially if it wasn’t out of a major NYC airport. Spending am hour to get to JFK is long enough thank you very much. Great for people with cars who live out of the city, but for urban dwellers in NYC it makes no sense.

  21. @raksiam, I think the point the other commenter was making is many people say “I’d never fly a narrowbody on a TATL flight,” yet the US Northeast to Ireland is only a couple hundred more miles it is to California – people don’t think twice about taking a narrowbody to CA, so why do they think differently just because they’re now flying East instead of West?

    People would think you’re crazy if you said “I will only fly a widebody from PVD to SFO,” so why would they say that about PVD-SNN, for example? PVD to SFO is 2,691 miles, whereas PVD to SNN is 2,939…a whopping 248 extra miles.

  22. If @CommonSenseCarrier was discussing an airline like Allegiant, where they’re running 25+ year old birds and cutting corners left & right, maybe their comments would have merit. Here we are with a European company and all new aircraft. I’d have no doubts about flying on Norwegian. Even with everything a-la-carté, I expect that I’d see service far better than what I’d see from UA.

  23. Agree AlexS.
    Norweigan’s service is miles above anything i’ve ever experienced on UA/AA/DL… (that isnt hard to be fair)

  24. The absolute BEST thing about flying to the US from Dublin or Shannon is the customs pre-clearance. I feel it’s worth paying an extra $100 for this!

  25. These satellite airports come in for a lot of criticism but remember that not everyone’s final destination is the big city. I regularly fly into Frankfurt-Hahn with Ryanair, hire a car and I’m driving along the beautiful Rhine Valley within 30 minutes. I avoid the city of Frankfurt like the plague!

  26. SWF is great if you want to hit places like DIA:Beacon or StormKing and eat your way through the Hudson River Valley.

  27. I understand why people may feel uncomfortable on a narrow body across the pond compared to a transcon. In a transcon there are plenty of easy emergency landings, over the Atlantic, not so many.

  28. @MACH81 – so a 2-engine 737MAX is more likely to divert over the Atlantic than a 2-engine 767 or A330? Your argument makes absolutely no sense.

  29. With Norwegian putting 737s across the pond, I hope other airlines (I am talking to you, United) don’t get the same idea and put 737s across the pond too. Yes, United doesn’t have any MAX’s, but I am sure they will try to find a way to get their 737-700s or 737-800s to hop across the pond … and also make a fuel stop in Canada on every return flight.

  30. I just flew Norwegian LGW-SJU and while it was quite a long flight (9/8 hours) it was not uncomfortable. We did it partially because of price but mostly because it was the only direct route. (Maybe BA flies? Don’t think so though.) Their drinks ordering system via your on demand television was fantastic and super quick. I would just advise packing snacks if you don’t plan on prepaying for the meal. We didn’t on the overnight and it was totally fine. On the way there we did and the food was better than average for economy.

    I wouldn’t hesitate to fly them again on a short flight like NY/CT to Ireland.

  31. Forgot to mention. One thing I LOVE about Norwegian is if you prebook seats it’s a flat rate (£25 I think) for ALL seats, including bulk heads, if you are quick enough to get them. My 6’4″ boyfriend was very happy.

  32. Looks like the fares are no longer cheap and Norwegian isn’t offering the LowFare+ option that they have on the 787s on their 737MAX flights. It’s a shame because the LowFare+ ensures a regular economy TATL experience I’m used to (one checked bag, seat assignment and meals/drinks included.)

  33. Norwegian shaking it up with some sexy routes…

    Wonder if it’ll be catered with peanut butter blizzards from the Stewart Dairy Queen.

  34. “Maybe if they were offering connections on to the rest of Europe. Otherwise it’s hard to see this being worthwhile.”

    Duh.. You choose a gateway city (Like Edinburgh, Stockholm, etc).. You can then easily make your own connections (EDI-Milan $49).. its not up to your carrier to make your euro trip for you.. Its easy enough as they have much cheaper flights throughout europe (EasyJet, Ryan Air, Air Berlin, etc), world class trains, etc.. Be free.

    Also I suspect the SWF experience will be like a private jet, shuttle from Port Authority direct to the tarmac.. No JFK hastle, and less fees for Norwegian making for a $109 flight across the pond. Yes the bigger planes are nicer on long routes but I dont suspect it would be that much of an issue.

  35. Whats the question..Of course a wide body is way more comfortable than a small narrow body 737! When you are flying a long trans atlantic flt having a 777 or 787 or 747 is way more spacious feeling and you have more room to walk around, there is no comparison. As far as people flying cross country on narrow bodys without thinking about it, It unfortunately has become mainstream for the airlines to operate 737’s and A320’s cross country now, and its a shame because it ISNT comfortable at all, and not too long ago many airines operated larger planes cross country which was way better for passenger comfort, unfortunately its all about the bottom line.

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