Norwegian Air Shuttle began selling tickets for their New York JFK and Bangkok Boeing 787 services on Thursday November 8 for flights from May 30th, 2013. Some very cheap seats were available -and they were selling fast.
The carrier will fly between Oslo (Norway) and Stockholm (Sweden) three times a week. Seats on Norwegian’s 787 will be nine across 3-3-3 in economy class with a 31″ pitch. The airline is also introducing a Premium Cabin on the 787, configured six across 2-2-2 with a 46″ pitch. Up to now, the airline has been all one class. All seats will have an individual entertainment system. Meals are included in the Premium fare and with the Flex fare. The meals can be pre ordered for an extra fee by passengers travelling on the airline’s lowest fare.
Headquartered in Bergen, Norway, Norwegian is the second largest airline in Scandinavia and serves more than 115 airports in 30 countries. The airline started as a small regional carrier in 1993. In 2002, it adopted its current name and began its expansion with destinations and passengers numbers rapidly climbing. The airline transported 15.7 million people in 2011 compared with 5.1million just five years before.
The carrier currently operates 68 Boeing 737s. Their livery is white with a distinctive red nose. Each plane has a famous Scandinavian on the tail including author Karen Blixen, explorer Helge Ingstad and artist Edvard Munch. Currently, 47 of their aircraft are WiFi equipped. By March 2013, their entire 737-800 fleet will have in-flight WiFi. Norwegian makes available its wifi free of charge for all passengers.
The airline has eight Boeing 787s on order. It is purchasing three and leasing five. The delivery of their first one will be in April 2013 followed by the second June 2013 and the third one in November 2013. Four more will be delivered in 2014 and the final one in 2015. The new 787s are part of a massive fleet expansion at Norwegian. Norwegian Air Shuttle have orders and options for a further 222 new planes including:
- 100 Boeing 737 MAX-8
- 22 Boeing 737-800
- 100 Airbus A320 neo
These orders represent the largest order in European aviation history.
To operate the 787 services, they have formed a subsidiary: Norwegian Long Haul. I note that Rishworth Aviation have started advertising on behalf of Norwegian, for Thailand based 787 Captains and First Officers. I assume that Norwegian are aiming to hire Thai nationality pilots to reduce their wage costs.
I have not yet flown Norwegian -nor the 787! Maybe I can try both in 2013 – If I can get a seat!