New airline will fill long-haul gap left by Norwegian Air

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A new Norway-based airline will attempt to fill the discount transatlantic void left by Norwegian Air.
A new Norway-based airline will attempt to fill the discount transatlantic void left by Norwegian Air.

A new Norway-based airline will attempt to fill the discount transatlantic void left by Norwegian Air. 

Norse Atlantic Airways plans to launch service in December, flying Boeing 787 Dreamliners between European destinations such as London, Paris and Oslo and U.S. destinations such as New York, Los Angeles and Miami. Tickets are slated to go on sale in the fall.

The company plans to list on the Oslo Stock Exchange and has thus far raised $24 million, it said in a press release.

Norse Atlantic shares associations with Norwegian, which in January said it wouldn't resume the transatlantic service it had suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Norwegian does continue to fly short-haul routes within Europe.

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Majority owner Bjorn Tore Larsen is the co-founder of OSM Aviation, which used to provide flight crews for Norwegian. Bjorn Kjos, a Norwegian Air co-founder and its former CEO, is also a shareholder, though he holds only about 2% of the company, Larsen said.

"We now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a brand-new airline from scratch," Larsen said in a prepared remark. "As the world reopens, the public needs an innovative, low-cost intercontinental airline with modern, more environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient aircraft. We have industry knowledge and have secured modern Dreamliners at very good terms."

The demise of Norwegian's transatlantic operations, as well as the death of Iceland's Wow Air and other discount transatlantic carriers over the past three years, have led some industry experts to sound the death knell of that business model, at least for the foreseeable future.

CORRECTED: This report was updated on May 10 to correct an error in a March 15 Norse Atlantic press release, which said Norwegian founder Kjos owned 15% of the new carrier. The erroneous release was removed from the Norse Atlantic website on May 10.
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