Is Norwegian’s US approval overstated?

How the airline plans to use its certificates is not clear
The US approving Norwegian’s Irish unit to fly there is good news for the airline. But it is not such a big game-changer, the travel analysis site Skift argues.
Norwegian had been planning to grow its low-cost transatlantic flights regardless of whether this happened.
Since the US Department of Transportation issued its approval, Norwegian has announced a range of new routes between both Ireland and the UK and several US cities.
But the extra flights from London Gatwick, to New York, Los Angeles, Oakland, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale, do not have much to do with the approval. They will be flown by the Norway-based business unit. Though not an EU member, Norway has signed the EU-US Open Skies agreement.
So far, Norwegian has not said much about its plans for the Ireland-based operation, or about how it will shift its flights between its two certificates in Norway and one each in Ireland and the UK, the latter of which should receive US approval at some point in the future.
Norwegian’s model is to pack the most fuel-efficient planes with as many seats as possible. It is not yet clear that fares would drop if the company switched its transatlantic flights to one or another unit.
Better traffic rights with the different certificates may allow Norwegian to fly more flexibly to other regions, like Asia, India and Africa. Ireland also has more relaxed labour laws. But much remains unclear.


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