Norse Atlantic carried 220,000 passengers between June and October.
While Norse Atlantic will announce more summer routes and destinations soon, including from London with its new UK air operator’s certificate (AOC) and license, it has put on sale its initial summer network. There are six routes so far. They include a return to Los Angeles, which it pulled this winter. Not surprisingly, there is no Oslo-Orlando, which it last served in October and has no winter flights. And despite being scheduled to run next summer, there is no Berlin to Fort Lauderdale.
Six summer routes for now
As of November 8th, Norse Atlantic’s initial summer route schedule is as follows. Expect more developments. According to its website, it will return to Los Angeles from Oslo, although it is currently unclear if Berlin-Los Angeles will come back too.
|Route||Bookable summer 2023 flights||Comments|
|Berlin to New York JFK||4x weekly||Down from 1x daily this summer (has 3x weekly winter flights)|
|London Gatwick to New York JFK||1x daily||Will be one of four airlines on the route next summer, a record number|
|Oslo to Fort Lauderdale||2x weekly||Down from 3x weekly this summer (has 2x weekly winter flights)|
|Oslo to London Gatwick||1x daily||For now, Oslo-Gatwick-JFK continues on a fifth freedom basis using Norse’s Norwegian AOC|
|Oslo to New York JFK||3x weekly||Down from 1x daily this summer (has 3x weekly winter flights)|
|Oslo to Los Angeles||2x weekly||Not operated this winter. The last flight was on October 15th and returns on March 28th. Down from 3x weekly this summer|
Photo: London Gatwick Airport.
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No Berlin to Fort Lauderdale
Cirium shows that Norse Atlantic filed Berlin-Fort Lauderdale to run 3x weekly next summer. It was to operate on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, with N0621 leaving the German capital at 15:25 and arriving in Florida at 21:00 local. N0622 would then have left Fort Lauderdale at 23:00 and arrived back at 13:40+1.
But it is not on sale next summer, with the last bookable date March 24th. It is unclear if it has been permanently cut, will be winter-seasonal, or will be released later.
Check out flights from Berlin to South Florida!
Photo: Norse Atlantic.
220,000 passengers so far
There is no doubt that Norse Atlantic is facing significant headwinds, and the carrier confirmed on November 8th that its October seat load factor was just 60% on the back of 60,836 passengers and 102,000 seats for sale. This is shown in the figure below. It carried fewer passengers in October than in September, partly from reducing flights. This is why the seat load factor (SLF) increased slightly.
Yes, it is a new airline with big 787s to consistently fill, and yes, it is going into a period with lower demand, but 60% obviously isn’t good. I do not know how it compares to what they expected to achieve that month, but it is clear it still had far too much capacity, just as it did in September. Still, Norse Atlantic’s CEO, Bjorn Tore Larsen, said:
“We are very pleased to see that certain core routes on our current network are now reaching 85% load factor with forward bookings also continuing to show a positive trend.”
Source of data: Norse Atlantic. Figure: James Pearson.
85% SLF on some routes
I do not know what average fares were required to achieve 85% and how sustainable those fares are for the airline. This is why SLF says relatively little in itself. More context is required.
But it is clear that Norse Atlantic must concentrate on its strengths while ensuring it doesn’t overexpand and be too ambitious too quickly. The carrier already took big action this winter, which saw 31% of flights pulled, which should see loads improve, while not having too many seats to fill should improve yields. And as Larsen commented:
“The quick and decisive action to scale down our network in line with demand and to focus on core routes for the winter season puts Norse Atlantic in a much stronger position during the months ahead.”
Let’s hope a disciplined mentality prevails going forward, enabling the fundamentals to improve and providing a stronger, stabler foundation on which to build. After all, Larsen added that:
“Further destinations will be announced in December and the New Year, expanding the airline’s summer 2023 network”
What do you make of it all? Let us know in the comments.