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Norwegian Air is rising fast, but the headwinds are picking up

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Norwegian, the fast-growing European low-cost carrier, launched four US routes last month, for a total of 25 in the last 12 months. It plans 11 more in 2018.

Published   |  Photo by Reuters/Johan Nilsson/TT News Agency
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The new routes connect Los Angeles and New York to Amsterdam, Madrid, and Milan, beginning in May.

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Reuters/Johan Nilsson/TT News Agency

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Norwegian’s aggressive growth (from 68 aircrafts and 30 routes five years ago to 145 aircrafts and 512 routes this year) and pricing (New York-Amsterdam costs $199) is changing air travel across the Atlantic.

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Norwegian still has to convince shareholders that it can deal with the debt it created to support the expansion. Shares for the company, traded in Oslo, have dropped 40% this year.

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Norwegian also has to deal with growing competition, as other low-costs start to cross the Atlantic, including Canada’s WestJet and Iceland’s Wow Air.

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And legacy careers are slashing prices and even launching their own budget airlines, like Level (belonging to the same company that runs British Airways) and Joon (of Air France-KLM).

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