Budget airlines declared war on the dominant Trans-Atlantic carriers this week when Norwegian announced that they’d begin flights to New York for as little as £149 next summer.
Similarly cheap fares will be available for one-way flights to Los Angeles, with prices starting at £199 to fly to the West coast. Norwegian, a major budget airline in the European travel market, will make three weekly flights out of Gatwick airport starting July 2014.
As interest in breaking the more established airlines grasp on Trans-Atlantic routes grows amongst cheaper airlines, Norwegian have struck the first blow in a conflict that is sure to be both long and tough. Ryanair boss, Michael O’Leary, announced recently that his airline is hoping to be able to offer $10 Trans-Atlantic flights in the near future; it appears then that both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic may have to watch their backs in the coming years.
The chief executive of Norwegian airlines, Bjorn Kjos, sees the expansion into cheap Trans-Atlantic flights as a natural extension of their growth in Europe. Having recently signed the largest ever European mass aircraft purchase, the airline is hoping that their ability to provide longer flights at cheaper rates will allow them to break into an untapped market. Already offering a whopping 320 flights every week from London Gatwick, the airline now flies 25 routes from the airport, with plans to increase the frequency of flights to popular destinations.
These new budget long-haul flights will be met with a great deal of glee by those who feel that the major Trans-Atlantic airlines have had too much power over who is able to fly the route and kept prices artificially high.
While this new price war may bear an uncanny resemblance to Skytrain’s attempt to challenge the big boys in the 1970s, fans of budget travel options will be hoping desperately that the cheaper airlines are finally able to gain a foothold in the Trans-Atlantic market. Wherever you head off on holiday it is important to organise travel insurance before you go, to ensure you have cover during your trip.
Date Created: 22/10/2013