Back in 2015 Norweigan Air Shuttle CEO Bjørn Kjos told interviewers that he hoped to sell $69 transatlantic flights as early as 2017. Well….it looks like his prediction will be true.
Norwegian has gotten permission to operate out of a few smaller, regional airports in the northeast U.S., from which it will offer budget transatlantic flights using the new 737 MAX jets. The first airport on the list is Stewart International Airport in Newburgh, New York. The main draw of utilizing “secondary airports” is the lower fees these airports charge. The efficiency and size of the revamped 737 jets will also significantly cut costs for Norwegian.
Although Stewart International Airport is roughly 5x further from Manhattan than JFK and Newark airport (and even further from La Guardia), the significantly lower prices will likely draw plenty of travelers. Currently, reasonable round-trip fares between New York and the British Isles hover around $500. With any luck Norwegian will soon be offering r/t fares for less than $150. That’s honestly insane. You can easily pay that much in fees on an award tickets.
I’ve written before about my hopes for both Norwegian and WOW (Iceland’s budget carrier) to provide enough U.S. competition that legacy carriers will follow suit with great pricing. With better and better technology, and barring any oil crisis of other disaster, I think that we are entering an even more accessible era of air travel. Bring on the $69 transatlantic flights!