Norwegian Keeps Expanding With More US Routes to London and Paris
The low-cost carrier Norwegian is on an expansion tear and shows no signs of letting up anytime soon. The airline announced today it plans to launch new routes from several additional US cities to London Gatwick (LGW) and Paris (CDG) in the spring of 2018. The new routes include two brand new US gateways for Norwegian — Chicago (ORD) and Austin (AUS).
The new routes and city pairs bring the airline up to a total of 57 transatlantic routes from 15 US cities. The airline has already begun selling tickets on all five of the new routes, which are as follows:
- Chicago (ORD) to London Gatwick (LGW) — begins March 25, 2018, with 4x weekly service. Fares start at $174 one-way in economy.
- Austin (AUS) to London Gatwick (LGW) — begins March 27, 2018, with 3x weekly service. Fares start at $249 one-way in economy.
- Oakland/San Francisco (OAK) to Barcelona (BCN) — begins April 10, 2018, with 4x weekly service. Fares start at $229 one-way in economy.
- Boston (BOS) to Paris (CDG) — begins May 2, 2018, with 4x weekly service. Fares start at $149 one-way in economy.
- New York/Newark (EWR) to Paris (CDG) — begins February 28, 2018, with 6x weekly service augmenting the airline's existing daily service to Paris from New York (JFK).
In addition to the new routes, Norwegian is also adding two weekly flights to its service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Paris.
The extensive new service comes on top of a number of previous expansions by Norwegian. The carrier has now added seven US cities to its network within the last year, often focusing on the West Coast with cities such as Denver (DEN) and Seattle (SEA). It has also announced additional US routes to Rome (FCO), Barcelona (BCN) and Bergen (BGO) in Scandinavia just in the first half of 2017 alone. Recently the carrier also rolled out plans for increased service from the US to the French Caribbean and will be launching flights between London and Singapore (SIN) this fall, which could allow US East Coast travelers to connect in London enroute to Asia.
After a short delay, the airline just took delivery of its first two Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft, which it intends to utilize on some of its routes between the US and Europe. Norwegian will be the first carrier to utilize the narrow-body 737 MAX on transatlantic flights, which cost significantly less to operate than its wide-body 787 Dreamliners. The increased competition from the carrier's ultra-low fares has driven prices significantly downward on transatlantic routes, as legacy airlines now routinely offer sales on round-trip US-European itineraries at sub-$400 levels.
Even though Norwegian is a low-cost carrier, our TPG staff has found flying the airline to be a generally solid experience. TPG Editorial Director James Cury was a passenger on the inaugural Norwegian 737-800 flight from Newburgh (SWF) to Edinburgh (EDI) and was pleased with the airline's smooth boarding process and friendly staff. TPG Assistant Editor Brendan Dorsey flew Norwegian to Martinique (FDF) in the French Caribbean and wrote that he'd "definitely be looking for more opportunities to fly it" in the future.