Will Norse Atlantic Fly From London Stansted?

Startup long-haul airline Norse Atlantic applied for and received slots at London Stansted for next summer, while it hasn’t (yet?) received them at Gatwick. Time is ticking if it is indeed to launch London to the US next summer.

Norse Atlantic B787
Startup Norse Atlantic expects to fly from London to the US next summer. Photo: Norse Atlantic.

Could Norse Atlantic fly from Stansted?

Norse Atlantic is expected to take off from London next year. While Gatwick has always been expected to be its base for the UK capital, filling the gap left by Norwegian ending long-haul service, it might not.

While Norse Atlantic applied for Gatwick slots, none were allocated in the preliminary allocation process. In contrast, it was granted 2,722 air traffic movements (ATMs) at Stansted, a considerable amount. This is based on Airport Coordination Limited (ACL)’s summer 2022 Initial Coordination Report, with ACL the organization that allocates slots at the two airports.

Simple possession of slots in no way means that they’ll be used. In this instance, it is best taken to express Norse’s desire to serve London. It is hedging its bets. As you’d expect, Gatwick itself expects Norse to serve its airport, and the carrier has said the following publicly:

“We view both Gatwick and Stansted as potential bases… We are confident we will get the departure and landing permits we want at Gatwick, and at the same time we also consider Stansted an attractive airport for Norse.”

 

Norwegian Air UK Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner G-CKOF (1)
In 2019, Norwegian served 14 US airports from Gatwick. These included Fort Lauderdale before shifting to Miami, and Oakland before leaving for Miami. Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying.

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What’s currently known?

If Norse is to begin flying next summer, tickets will likely go on sale in the next month or two. Currently, it expects to start flying from Oslo to Fort Lauderdale, Ontario, and Stewart using its B787s.

Launching from Oslo isn’t be surprising. The country is its home nation, and requesting permission to fly from major markets like London or Paris initially would raise very serious eyebrows. However, it has been said that it’ll begin Fort Lauderdale from Oslo, London, and Paris in 2022.

What is surprising is that secondary airports for major cities (Miami, Los Angeles, New York respectively) will be used, obviously for lower charges. However, Norwegian itself shifted from Fort Lauderdale and Oakland to Miami and San Francisco and consequently achieved significantly higher average fares. The balance between an airport’s charges (and any other incentives), fares, and market awareness is always interesting.

North America from Stansted

While it’s highly uncertain whether Norse will indeed fly from Stansted, the Essex airport has a history of US and Canada flights. American Airlines, EOS, Jet2, MAXJet, Primera, Thomas Cook, TUI, and Zoom all operated at some point between 2004 and 2018. Some 11 North American airports were served non-stop, but JFK had seven in ten flights, Cirium data indicates.

Primera stands out. Stansted to Newark began in April 2018, followed by Boston, Toronto, and Washington Dulles, mainly utilizing A321neos. However, the carrier expanded rapidly transatlantically, far away from its historic European sun routes, and ceased to exist six months later.

Will you be flying Norse Atlantic to/from Europe? Let us know in the comments.

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