Norwegian Now Flies More Passengers Between NYC and Europe Than British Airways

Oct 8, 2018

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Update 10/9/18 6:10pm ET: British Airways reached out to TPG with the following statement:

“Our commitment to New York is as strong as ever. We fly up to 70 times a week from all three of our London airports, and we recently announced a $65m​ investment on new lounges, improved food, seating and shops at JFK Terminal 7.”

A new airline is leading the transatlantic market to and from New York — and it’s not the carrier you might be thinking. For years, British Airways was the biggest non-US airline on transatlantic routes to and from the New York City area. However, now, that title is owned by a low-cost newcomer: Norwegian Air Shuttle.

In the 12 months ending July 2018, Norwegian carried a total of 1.67 million passengers to or from airports in the NYC area, according to data from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey and obtained by Reuters. By comparison, BA carried a total of 1.63 million.

While US-based carriers still reign supreme on those transatlantic routes between the NYC area and Europe — the largest of which being United — Norwegian’s takeover of the title held by BA represents a shift in consumer demand.

The Port Authority’s data includes information on John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), LaGuardia Airport (LGA), New York Stewart International Airport (SWF) and Teterboro (TEB).

Low-cost carriers, such as Norwegian, have made a splash in the international market. With the launch of Norwegian and its mass expansion throughout the US, other low-cost competition have added their presence into the mix, such as WOW Air, Level and more. Full-service carriers have felt the effects of the low-cost influence, with many introducing basic economy fares with comparable airfare.

Interestingly, British Airways’ parent company, International Airline Group (IAG), attempted to purchase Norwegian earlier this year. After several unsuccessful attempts, those talks have been presumably been put on hold, as the two groups were unable to come to an agreement. IAG currently owns a 4.6% stake in Norwegian.

*Correction: This story has been updated to reflect the fact that Stewart International Airport is included in the Port Authority’s data.

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