Could Norwegian Disrupt The Transatlantic Market By Offering Cheap Flat Beds?

Norwegian Airlines does not currently offer lie-flat beds. Their premium cabin is just that, a premium economy. While it is unlikely that Norwegian would ever look to offer a business class cabin with lie-flat beds, would such a move disrupt the Transatlantic market?

Norwegian is one of the key airlines that has already disrupted the Transatlantic aviation market. While not particularly touching business and first passengers, their low fares have poached economy passengers from full-service airlines.

Norwegian Flat Beds
Norwegian revolutionised long haul travel with their low fares. Photo: Norwegian

Long-Haul Low-Cost

Norwegian redefined the Transatlantic Aviation market with their low fares. Essentially, they took the model that worked so well for Ryanair and applied it to long haul flights.

That is to say that Norwegian will only see you a ticket for the flight. Unless you pay for a premium ticket, almost everything is extra. That includes baggage, food, and even reserve a seat. By doing this they can keep fares low, while also keeping costs low.

Why Not Lie Flat?

As of now, Norwegian has steered clear of or installing lie-flat beds on its aircraft. The main reason is that lie flat beds cost an awful lot for the airlines utilising them. The reason? Lie flat beds on aircraft take up a lot is space compared to regular seats.

Norwegian Flat Bed
Norwegian’s premium seats are demonstrated by CEO, Bjørn Kjos. Photo: Norwegian

As such, they cost a lot more for passengers to book, as the passenger is essentially paying for the space occupied by 2 or 3 regular seats, if not more. These seats are also a gamble. By selling them, the airline could make a tidy profit. However, if the seats remain unfilled, they could cost the carrier dearly. On the contrast, if one or two economy seats aren’t filled, it isn’t the end of the world.

Revolutionise Business Travel?

It’s unlikely that we will see Norwegian offering business class seats any time soon, giving the high cost of the floor space onboard.

Given the precarious financial position that Norwegian is in, now wouldn’t necessarily be the best time to trial business class seating for the airline.

Norwegian Flat Bed
Norwegian is unlikely to offer business class any time soon. Photo: Norwegian

What If?

If Norwegian were to introduce business class seating, it could be a real boon for the airline if executed correctly. At the same time, it could redefine the transatlantic travel industry. Currently, full-service carriers such as United are not worried about high business class fares, as there is no competing product.

A Norwegian business class would change all this. Norwegian could keep costs down by offering a cut-price business class. Options to keep costs down could be swapping bedding with blankets, and keeping food costs down.

We’ve previously seen Norwegian offer lie-flat beds when they hired HiFly’s A380. While this was a financial disaster in itself, Norwegian could theoretically hire a smaller HiFly aircraft to trial offering business class. Unfortunately, however, this is unlikely to happen. For the time being, the business class transatlantic sector is likely to remain unchanged.

Would you like to see Norwegian offer business class? What would it look like? Let us know in the comments down below!