Norwegian To Move Away From Secondary Airports To Increase Yields

In an effort to try to increase yields, Norwegian Air is moving away from some secondary airports. So far, the low-cost carrier has confirmed it will move at least two routes as part of the summer schedule changes.

Norwegian operates a low-cost airline, however, unlike Ryanair and easyJet, one of Norwegian’s focuses is long haul travel. In a year that has seen a number of long-haul low-cost carriers go under, Norwegian has had its share of financial struggles. CEO of the company Bjørn Kjos is currently en route to Boeing to discuss the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX.

Norwegian is moving two Boeing 787 routes to primary airports. Photo: Norwegian

Direct to San Fran

Previously, Norwegian flew to Oakland and Fort Lauderdale in the United States. However, in an effort to apparently attract more passengers, the airline is moving to primary airports. In the case of Oakland, Norwegian will be relocating to San Francisco. On the East Coast Norwegian is relocating from Fort Lauderdale to Miami. The changes came into effect yesterday.

The new schedules will look as follows:

  • Daily, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner departs from London Gatwick at 11:00, arriving 9 hours and 20 minutes later in Miami at 14:20.
  • The return flight departs Miami at 16:30 arriving in Gatwick the next morning at 05:50m after an 8 hour 20 minute flight.
  • 5 times weekly another Boeing 787 will depart Gatwick for San Francisco at 13:30. After an 11 hour flight, it will land at 16:30.
  • The return flight departs San Francisco two hours later at 18:30, arriving in Gatwick at 12:40 the next day. The flight time is 10 hours and 10 minutes.
Oakland will be swapped for San Francisco. Photo: Norwegian

Will it pay off?

By moving its flights to primary airports, Norwegian is hoping to attract more passengers to its services. This does, however, come with one drawback. Low-cost airlines typically use secondary airports as the cost of slots is more affordable. For example, Ryanair’s fares to Frankfurt Hahn are lower than their fares to Frankfurt as the airport is much cheaper to land at.

By moving to these primary airports, Norwegian is making a bet that the extra money brought in by more passengers will offset the increased operating costs of using the airport. Assuming that Norwegian is a signatory with San Francisco airport, it will cost the airline $2,354.50 each time a Boeing 787 lands at the airport. However, San Francisco offers a 100% landing fee waiver to new services for 12-24 months from the date of commencement. Miami Airport, on the other hand, has slightly lower landing fees at $709.75 for a Boeing 787-9.

Norwegian route changes
Fort Lauderdale will be replaced with Miami. Photo: Norwegian

Boeing compensation

While we hope the change will help Norwegian in their tough financial spot, CEO Bjørn Kjos is currently headed to Seattle to discuss the groundings of his Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. This comes after he publicly demanded compensation from the American manufacturing giant. Simple Flying will keep readers up to date with any major developments from this meeting.

Do you think the new airports will be good for Norwegian? Let us know in the comments down below!