Struggling Norwegian Air Expanding From Chicago and NYC to Europe, Fares From $160 One-Way

Feb 15, 2019

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Low-cost carrier Norwegian is expanding yet again. This time, the carrier, known for its deep transatlantic footprint and low fares, is adding nonstop seasonal service from Chicago to Barcelona and from New York to Athens.

The following seasonal routes will be added to Norwegian’s route network for summer service:

  • Chicago (ORD) to Barcelona (BCN) — beginning June 7, 2019
  • New York (JFK) to Athens (ATH) — beginning July 2, 2019

For both the ORD-BCN and JFK-ATH seasonal routes, they’ll operate with 4x weekly service on Boeing 787 Dreamliners. Additionally, both seasonal routes will cease operating come the winter schedule, on Oct. 26, 2019.

As of time of writing, both routes are not yet on sale. However, Norwegian says that the JFK-ATH route will start at $160 one-way in economy and $670 one-way in Premium. The ORD-BCN route starts at $200 one-way in economy and $670 one-way in Premium.

Photo by Emily McNutt / The Points Guy.
Photo by Emily McNutt / The Points Guy.

Meanwhile, while Norwegian is adding service on two new routes, it’s also increasing the number of frequencies on some of its existing routes. Its Newark (EWR) to BCN route will increase for the summer season from 6x weekly flights to a daily operation, and its Los Angeles (LAX) to BCN route will increase from 3x weekly flights to 6x weekly flights.

Norwegian’s route expansion comes at an interesting time. The carrier has long been known to be in financial trouble, and its most recent financial filings reported a 1.5 billion Norwegian kroner ($175 million) net loss for 2018. The losses were blamed on high fuel prices, strong competition and the extensive problems it’s faced with the Rolls-Royce engines on its fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners, forcing it to ground some of the aircraft.

In an effort to improve its operation, Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said that the carrier “will enter a period of slower growth and fewer investments, while constantly looking for new and smarter ways to improve our efficiency and offer new products and services to attract new customers.”

On Tuesday, the carrier announced its latest round of route reductions by axing its entire operation to the Caribbean.

While the carrier continues to expand and announce new routes, if you’re considering planning a holiday around these new route announcements, it could be a good idea to purchase with a credit card that offers trip protection in case the worst case scenario does come true.

Featured image by Victor / Flickr.

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