Norwegian CEO Hints at More West Coast Dreamliner Service
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Norwegian Air Shuttle’s CEO, Bjørn Kjos, has big plans for his airline. In the last few months alone, the carrier’s shared plans to start service to Newburgh, New York (SWF), open a flight attendant base and international service in Providence, Rhode Island (PVD) and begin domestic flights in Argentina (yes, you read that right).
Kjos isn’t satisfied, however. During a recent interview in Seattle, Kjos said that he’d like to get approval from the DOT for its UK-based subsidiary to operate flights between Seattle (SEA) and London, which in turn would necessitate ordering more Boeing 787 Dreamliners. He intends to further disrupt the airline industry by offering rock-bottom fares from US cities to destinations all over the world, even as far as Asia. In order to do that, however, the airline needs to receive approval from the DOT to operate flights from its foreign subsidiaries based in the UK and Ireland.
In order to fuel the airline’s massive growth aspirations, it’s waiting for six Boeing 737 MAX planes and nine 787-9 Dreamliners to be delivered. While passengers have loved booking sub-$300 round-trip fares to Europe, not everyone is happy with the airline’s aggressive push into the US market. Unsurprisingly, the major domestic carriers who offer international service (American, Delta and United) have complained that Norwegian has unfair competitive practices such as paying lower wages to Thai-based flight crews. However, Mr. Kjos has flatly denied the allegations, saying that US-based flight crews are paid according to American wage standards and that the Thai flight crews only operate flights between Europe and Asia.
If all goes Norwegian’s way, Americans could be seeing even cheaper fares across the Atlantic — the airline has indicated that it wants to offer $69 one-way introductory fares to Europe from select US cities. The prospect of Asia-bound flights on Norwegian metal is perhaps even more intriguing, as it could bring some of the world’s most far-flung destinations within reach of almost any budget.
H/T: The Seattle Times
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