Cargo Plans Drive Norse Switch From New York Stewart To JFK

Credit: Norse Atlantic Airways

Long-haul, low-cost Norwegian startup Norse Atlantic Airways has put its plans to serve New York Stewart (SWF) on hold.

The airline, which initially planned to operate flights to secondary airports in the US, cited the need to move cargo as well as passengers on flights between Oslo (OSL) and the New York market as the reason behind why it chose New York Kennedy (JFK). Norse will commence operations to New York's primary airport in June.

The airline also plans to start transatlantic services next month from OSL to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) in Florida and Ontario (ONT) outside Los Angeles. The all-Boeing 787 operator's planned June launch marks a slight delay from earlier ambitions.

“We are eager to commence operations to [SWF] and intend to add it to our network as soon as it can handle the cargo we will bring to and from the United States,” Norse said in a statement. “Cargo will be a significant part of our inbound revenues, consequently enabling us to offer affordable fares to our customers. We have ongoing discussions with [Stewart] about future operations and we are grateful for all the support.”

A Norse Atlantic spokesman told Aviation Week Network that operations into SWF were still on the table. However, at present, he said, the airport could not handle the quantities of freight the airline is envisaging carrying. Both JFK and SWF are operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Norse’s initial plan to operate to secondary airports is part of its no-frills business model that will see it offering fewer amenities than carriers typically operating transatlantic flights do. “We don’t have a fancy first- or business-class with lie-flat seats and caviar,” founder Bjørn Tore Larsen told the International Aviation Club of Washington earlier this year during a visit to the US.

Alan Dron

Based in London, Alan is Europe & Middle East correspondent at Air Transport World.