As Norwegian Air Shuttle struggles to remain a viable carrier, a team led by Erik G. Braathen, who was one of the original investors of the airline, intends to launch a new carrier based in Norway.
According to a press release dated 7 October, the airline is due to start operations in 2021.
“We are passionate about Norwegian aviation. However, we do not believe that the market will return to its previous state before the corona pandemic hit. We are using all our experience and knowledge to build a new Norwegian airline, adapted to the new economic reality and the passengers’ demand,” said Braathen, the leader of the new air carrier management team.
It’s not mentioned what type of aircraft will equip new airline’s fleet. According to the statement, the new Norwegian carrier will operate either five Boeing 737-800s or five Airbus A320s.
The airline plans to expand up to 400 employees by 2022 – all the onboard crew will be covered by Norwegian collective labour agreements, stated the press release.
“We believe it is the right time to start a new airline. We will be able to lease modern aircraft for a reasonable price, hire top-tier staff, and build a digital company with less complexity to lower cost and achieve profitability with fewer aeroplanes. We will be offering passengers competitive prices and an efficient and easy digital journey from ticket purchase to destination arrival,” added Braathen.
Braathen had been a Board Member of Norwegian Air Shuttle from 2002–2009. He had also been a Chairman of the Board from 2004–2009.
At a time when airlines are struggling and falling by the wayside, the news of the new airline, not rising from the ashes of a failed operator but adding to a nation’s home fleet can only be seen as a positive sign for the future.