Norwegian Resumes Flights In Sweden

Norwegian Air is back in earnest at Stockholm Arlanda. Starting today, the carrier is adding domestic Swedish routes from the airport. The airline will gradually expand its network over the summer to include 33 European destinations from Stockholm and Gothenburg.

Norwegian 737
Norwegian is returning to Sweden with 33 routes over the summer. Photo: Getty Images

Gradual ramp-up of Arlanda operations

From Monday, the red and white livery of budget carrier Norwegian Air is once more flying more frequently above the skies of Sweden. Following months of operating only subsidized domestic routes in Norway and a few token flights from Copenhagen and Stockholm, the struggling low-cost airline is making a proper comeback at Stockholm Arlanda and Gothenburg Landvetter airports.

From May 31st, Norwegian will be operating domestic flights from Stockholm to Umeå and Luleå,  as well as international routes to Oslo in Norway and Malaga in Spain. Next month, the airline says it will restart more nonstop services to offer a total of 31 destinations from Stockholm Arlanda and two destinations from Gothenburg.

“We are delighted to be back in Sweden and to once more welcome our Swedish customers on board,” Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian Air Shuttle, said in a statement on Monday.

“People are longing to travel again, and we will gradually increase our services in Sweden throughout spring and summer. Norwegian will continue to offer great service with affordable and flexible tickets to popular destinations across Europe.”

Norwegian Air Shuttle Boeing 737 800
The ‘New Norwegian’ is gradually bringing back its profitable European leisure network. Photo: Getty Images

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Accessible leisure destinations

It is a return to its once profitable short-haul operations for the ‘New Norwegian’, focusing on leisure destinations out of Scandinavia. In June 2021, apart from previously mentioned destinations, the airline will fly from Stockholm to Visby, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Nice, Palma, Alicante, Barcelona, Faro, Athens, Chania, Berlin, Burgas, Dubrovnik, Split, Sarajevo, and London. It will also recommence nonstop services from Gothenburg to Malaga and Alicante.

Come July, the carrier is expanding its route network to include Kiruna, Vilnius, Palermo, Rome, Rhodes, Larnaca, Prague, Krakow, Budapest, and Belgrade from Stockholm. These are announcements that are sure to make holiday-longing Swedes very happy as they will no longer need a full day and two connecting flights to visit islands in the Mediterranean like last year.

Norwegian Air Boeing 737 Max 8 Aircraft seen at the Krakow
What will not be returning are Norwegian’s 737 MAXs. Photo: Getty Images

No MAXs as network returns

The immediate fate of the Scandinavian budget carrier has been hanging in the balance throughout the pandemic. After several twists and turns, including rejected credit facilities from the Swedish government, the airline has received approval from creditors for its restructuring in Norway and Ireland, where its aircraft lessors are based.

This will see the carrier cut its narrowbody fleet almost in half, from 103 to only 53 aircraft. However, the airline is optimistic about the near future and foresees operating a fleet of up to 70 aircraft by the end of 2022.

Meanwhile, that fleet will not include the 737 MAX. Having initially ordered 100 of Boeing’s troubled aircraft earlier this year, the airline announced it would not be bringing back the 18 MAX aircraft across its fleets. Furthermore, it has canceled the remaining orders, for which Boeing and Norwegian are yet to reach a settlement.