Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Norwegian dramatically expanding service from US

Low-fare carrier Norwegian is adding numerous non-stop flights to Europe and the Caribbean from a dozen major U.S. cities starting July 31.

The carrier will commence weekly non-stop flights from Orlando International Airport (MCO) to Paris’ Charles de Gaulle International (CDG) on July 31. The 8 hour, 40 minute flights will operate on Thursdays. The carrier also offers twice-weekly flights to Paris Orly Airport (ORY) connecting in Copenhagen (CPH). Connecting flights operate Mondays and Thursdays.

© Dmitry Pichugin, Wikimedia Commons
On Aug. 22, the carrier will launch twice-weekly service from Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International (FLL) to Barcelona, Spain (BCN). The 8 hour, 55 minute flights will operate on Sundays and Tuesdays.

The carrier will begin twice-weekly flights between Denver International (DEN) and London Gatwick Airport (LGW) on Sept. 16, followed by the launch of new service the next day from Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA) to LGW. Denver flights will initially operate on Tuesday and Saturdays with plans to add Thursday flights in November. Seattle flights will operate on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.

Later in the fall, the airline will commence service from Providence, R.I.’s T.F. Green Airport (PVD) to Guadeloupe’s Pointe-à-Pitre airport (PTP) on Oct. 29. The 3 hour, 20 minute flights will operate Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. On Oct 30, Norwegian will begin service from PVD and FLL to Martinique’s Fort-de-France airport (FDF). The 4 hour, 20 minute flights from PVD to FDF will operate Mondays and Fridays. The 3 hour, 30 minute flights from FLL to FDF will operate Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.

November will bring connections from both U.S. coasts to Rome, Italy’s Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO). Flights from the New York area’s Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) to Rome commence Nov. 9, and flights from Los Angeles International (LAX) to FCO begin Nov. 11. The 8 hour, 5 minute flights from EWR operate Sundays, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. The 11 hour, 50 minute flights from LAX operate Tuesdays and Saturdays.

In 2018, the carrier will add twice-weekly service from Oakland International (OAK) in northern California to Rome on Feb. 6. The 11 hour, 50 minute flights will operate on Tuesdays and Fridays.

On Feb. 28, Norwegian will begin non-stop service from EWR to Paris with six weekly flights. Tuesdays will be the only day the 7-hour flights will not operate.

Travelers in the western U.S. will have two more non-stop options to Paris starting in April. Twice-weekly flights from DEN to CGD will commence April 9 and four-times-weekly service between OAK and Paris CDG will start April 10. The nine-hour flights from DEN will operate Mondays and Fridays while the 10 hour, 15 minute flights from OAK will operate Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.

The carrier also announced it would add service between Boston and Paris on March 2, Chicago and London on March 25, Austin and London on March 27, but no other details were available at the time of publication.

Flights will be aboard Boeing (NYSE:BA) 787 Dreamliners.

Norwegian operates both the 787-8 and the larger 787-9 in similar configurations. According to SeatGuru.com, the carrier’s 787-8s have 36 flatbed seats in Polaris, the carrier’s First Class offering, which are 22 inches wide with 78 inches of pitch. There are 70 Economy Plus seats that are 17.3 inches wide with 35 inches of pitch, and 113 standard economy seats that are also 17.3 inches wide with 32 inches of pitch.

The 787-9, which is a “stretch” version of the Dreamliner, has 48 flatbed seats in Polaris, 88 Economy Plus seats and 116 standard economy seats. Seat width and pitch are identical to those in the 787-8.

Like many airlines today, Norwegian offers its services on an à la carte basis. However, Norwegian’s website offers helpful comparisons between its lowest fares, called LowFare, and the next step up, called LowFare+.

For example, when investigating a LowFare ticket between LAX and OSL, the website returned a note that read, “If you would like checked baggage, Nice&Tasty menu and seat reservation, it pays to choose the ticket type LowFare+ for $89.00 extra. You can then save $37.00 compared to buying these optional services separately.” While I have issues with certain aspects of the industry’s move to à la carte pricing, at least Norwegian provides an instant price comparison for those services its passengers select most frequently.

Finally, the carrier has received numerous accolades from those who fly it.

Norwegian was voted the World's Best Long Haul, Low-Cost Airline by passengers in the 2015, 2016 and 2017 SKYTRAX World Airline Awards and Europe’s Best Low-Cost Airline for the fifth consecutive year. Norwegian is the commercial brand name for Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA. Norwegian began serving Europe in 2003 and launched its long-haul operations in 2013 when its first Dreamliner entered service.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



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