Norwegian Air To Charge For Faster Wi-Fi and Sells 2 Airbus A320neo Aircraft

Norwegian Air have made their latest move in their cost cutting strategy, as their subsidiary signs an agreement for Norwegian to sell two Airbus A320neos to raise funds. This comes as the airline announces a rollout of free and premium Wi-Fi on board their 737-800s too.

Norwegian selling off A320s
Norwegian are looking to raise cash by selling more aircraft. Image: Norwegian

The airline has had a difficult start to the year, as financial problems have left them aiming to raise $353m to turn things around. Added to this, IAG have stated they will not submit any more bids for the airline, and then there’s that 737 stranded in Iran for eight weeks, which is just now finally starting to be repaired.

So far, their cost cutting strategy has included removal of lounge access for premium passengers, axing routes and bases and selling off used aircraft to raise cash.

Selling off two A320neos

Norwegian has confirmed it will sell two A320neo aircraft as part of its efforts to raise much needed cash. The aircraft, owned by their subsidiary Arctic Aviation Assets, will be released by the end of this month.

Two A320neos will be sold

The sale is expected to raise around $26m once all the associated debts are paid off. No doubt they’ll use this cash to repay other debts, although their statement calls this ‘increasing the company’s liquidity’. The airline’s comments on the sale were:

“The sale is in line with the company’s strategy of capitalising on the scale built up over the past few years and the changed focus from growth to profitability,”

Although this is a clear move by Norwegian to improve finances at the airline, the sale will not affect any of its schedules. Both were leased out and not operated by Norwegian, so were not operated by the airline itself.

New enhanced Wi-Fi

In other news, Norwegian is looking to boost the on board passenger experience with a new inflight Wi-Fi offering. The improved connectivity is scheduled to be installed on all their 737-800s, providing a premium connection which is faster and more reliable than their current free Wi-Fi offering.

The Wi-Fi service will be available on their 737-800s

Currently they offer free web browsing, email and text based messaging, but at a low speed. The paid for Wi-Fi will come in two flavours:

  • Social and surf: A higher speed connection for fast web browsing, access to email and to all social media. Currently this is expected to be priced at €5 per device.
  • Stream and surf: A heightened browsing experience, email and social access as well as access to streaming services for music and video. This one is expected to cost €12 per device.

The airline has been rolling out Wi-Fi on board its 787-9 Dreamliner fleet as well as it’s 737 MAX fleet. These aircraft offer free basic Wi-Fi and a paid for high speed option for streaming. The introduction of Wi-Fi on board the 737-800s too will mean the entire fleet is equipped for connectivity.

Passengers can enjoy streaming of music or video

With Wi-Fi becoming increasingly important to passengers, the provision of better services on board is a good move by Norwegian.