Norwegian Air to offer U.S.-Europe fares starting at $65 one way
By Alana Wise
(Reuters) - Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA plans to offer transatlantic flights on 10 new routes between the United States and Europe with tickets starting at $65 one way, putting pressure on U.S. and European rivals to compete, it said on Thursday.
Norwegian is expanding its network of flights to the United States starting in mid-June after receiving long-awaited U.S. approval in December for its Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International to operate routes across the Atlantic.
Established U.S. carriers have been forced to consider restricted cheaper fares and redesigned cabins with more seats to win budget-conscious travelers to compete with Norwegian and rival Icelandic carrier Wow Air.
Norwegian's $65 fares will be for a one-way ticket to UK and Irish destinations from smaller airports in New York state, Providence, Rhode Island, and Hartford, Connecticut.
Destinations include Belfast, Northern Ireland; Cork, Dublin and Shannon, Ireland; and Edinburgh, Scotland.
"I pay for what I want, you pay for what you want. We don't pay for what everybody else on the plane wants," Norwegian Air spokesman Anders Lindström said of its fares.
The burgeoning competition on transatlantic routes has prompted action by more established European airlines.
British Airways and Iberia owner IAG is planning to start low-cost transatlantic flights from Barcelona this year to U.S. destinations. Chief Executive Officer Willie Walsh said earlier this month IAG has been pushed by the Norwegian carrier's model to look at new ways to operate. Continued...