Norwegian Air

Written by  Professor Barry Goldsmith

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Besides being the world's fastest-growing airline for the past few years, Norwegian Air is also the leading foreign airline regularly adding service to the US. With a cost-cutting focus for 2019 and some small adjustments to its US network, the airline's Director of Communications, Anders Lindstrom, says Norwegian will continue to grow its presence in the US, but at a "slower pace to ensure sustainable and profitable growth."

"We have grown very aggressively in the US for the past several years, launching almost 25 routes in just the last two years, so we have covered most of all the key markets for us. There's still room to grow, but not at that fast pace," says Lindstrom. "We have also become better at adjusting certain routes based on seasonality and demand, which means some routes only operate in summer, when the demand is much higher and not in the winter, whereas they were operating year-round before."

Norwegian offers almost 60 nonstop routes to Europe. People thinking Scandinavia is Norwegian's key market need to think again. "Within Europe, Scandinavia is definitely a key market for us, but when it comes to long-haul, London is by far our most important one - and we have 12 routes from the US just to London. On March 31, we are actually moving the operation from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami, and from Oakland to San Francisco. Our London routes are by far our best performing routes, and making these two moves we believe they will be even more profitable. And after London -- Paris, Barcelona and Rome are the top destinations, but we also have Madrid, Dublin and Amsterdam," says Lindstrom.

This year Norwegian has announced two new routes, both from Boston: to Rome and Madrid, starting March 31 and May 2, respectively - with many more new US routes to be announced throughout the year. Norwegian puts a human face on all its planes -- portraits of American heroes on its all-Boeing planes' tailfins - such as Mark Twain, Babe Ruth, Clara Barton, Sojourner Truth, Benjamin Franklin with others on their way, "These special honorees both inspire and push boundaries -- challenging the status quo."

As a low-cost airline offering transatlantic flights for around $150 one-way, including taxes, many customers and travel agents - not too familiar with the brand - still misperceive Norwegian as an ultra-low cost airline. "Based on our very low fares, Americans don't know what to expect. But we base our fares on a European price model, not the more expensive American one. We know our American customers love our Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet and the onboard experience, with sufficient legroom, a personal screen in every seat and charging ports in economy, and the a la carte options of only paying for what you want. Our Premium cabin is somewhere between Premium Economy and Business - including wide, comfortable recliner seats, all meals, dedicated check-in and fast-track security - as well as lounge access with the Premium/Flex ticket. Low fares don't necessarily have to equate to a cheap product, and I believe that's why we've been named the 'World's Best Low-Coast Long-Haul Airline' for the past four consecutive years by Skytrax, which is voted on by actual flying passengers," says Anders Lindstrom.

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