Norse Makes Florida Switch, Encouraged By Summer Demand

Norse Atlantic Airways Boeing 787-9 with crewmembers
Credit: Norse Atlantic Airways

Norse Atlantic Airways is set to introduce service to Miami for the first time starting in mid-September as part of its strategy to consolidate operations in Florida. The airline plans to transfer all existing Fort Lauderdale (FLL) flights to Miami International Airport (MIA) from Sept. 18.

“Miami has high levels of passenger demand, with both direct and connecting traffic volumes greater than other airports in the region,” says Bjorn Tore Larsen, CEO of Norse. “We look forward to being able to offer our cargo customers increased choice and flexibility as we begin operations from our new South Florida base in September.”

Since its launch in June 2022, Norse has been operating flights from Oslo to Fort Lauderdale and introduced service from Berlin during the 2022-23 winter season. A route from London Gatwick (LGW) began on May 26—one of two new services to Florida alongside flights to Orlando. Frequencies to Orlando will be four times a week in May and June, increasing to daily in July.

Norse said that flights between LGW and Miami will start on Sept. 18, operating four times per week throughout the winter season using Boeing 787-9 aircraft. The LCC also confirmed that its 2X-weekly Oslo-FLL route will transfer to MIA from the same date.

According to data provided by OAG Schedules Analyser, Norse will compete in the London-Miami market with three other carriers. American Airlines, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic each provide flights to MIA from London Heathrow—operating 2X-daily, daily and 10X-weekly, respectively. Meanwhile, SAS Scandinavian Airlines serves Oslo-MIA during the winter months.

Details of the Miami switch come less than a month after Norse outlined plans to expand beyond the U.S. market by introducing new flights to destinations in the Caribbean and Asia. Starting Oct. 29, daily flights from LGW to Barbados will commence, followed by a 4X-weekly service to Montego Bay. A route to Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport will begin two days later, operating 3X-weekly.

Additionally, Norse has scheduled the launch of its first flights to Asia, linking Norway’s capital Oslo and Bangkok. The route will operate twice a week from Nov. 2 during the winter season.

The move to add new sun markets is part of efforts to increase profitable flying in the winter months. During Q1 2023, the airline carried 110,263 passengers, resulting in a load factor of 54%.

Overall revenues for the first three months of the year were $40 million, down $6 million from the prior quarter due to reduced capacity and revenue per passenger. A net accounting loss of $71 million was also recorded, impacted by a $19 million non-cash aircraft lease accounting cost.

However, Norse says that load factors have increased since the end of Q1, rising to 67% in April and an estimated 70% in May. Load factors are expected to “significantly increase” from June and through the summer.

“Demand for transatlantic travel is strong,” Larsen says. “We are looking forward to the coming peak summer season as that will be the first time we have all aircraft generating revenue, and we maintain our goal of delivering the lowest cost as well as the highest ancillary revenue per passenger in the industry.”

Norse will serve 12 destinations in the summer 2023 season, flying from five European cities and seven destinations in the U.S.

New routes set to start over the coming weeks include Rome Fiumicino-New York John F. Kennedy on June 20; LGW-Los Angeles on June 30; LGW-San Francisco on July 1; and LGW-Boston on Sept. 2.

David Casey

David Casey is Editor in Chief of Routes, the global route development community's trusted source for news and information.