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Norwegian Air replacement Norse Atlantic hits a roadblock

written by Hannah Dowling | March 25, 2021

A Boeing-787 in Norwegian livery (Norwegian)

Lawmakers in the US are set to debate whether or not a new Scandinavian airline, Norse Atlantic, should be allowed a permit to enter the US market.

Last week, World of Aviation reported that Bjorn Kjos, the founder and ex-CEO of troubled carrier Norwegian Air, has taken another shot at the budget trans-Atlantic market, in partnership with co-founder of OSM Aviation Bjorn Tore Larsen.

Together, the two have launched Norse Air, in order to cash in on Norwegian Air’s exit from its famed long-haul budget trans-Atlantic routes.

The aviation veterans plan to lease 12 ex-Norwegian Dreamliners to fly from major US hubs, such as New York, Los Angeles and Miami, to European hotspots, including London, Paris and Oslo.

On Wednesday, Representative Peter DeFazio, the chairman of the US House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, urged the Biden administration to deny Norse Atlantic a permit to operate in the US market.

DeFazio argued that the new airline was “Norwegian in name only” and that the carrier “established itself in Ireland under a flag of convenience to avoid Norway’s strong labour protections”.

Notably, this is the same tactic once used before by Kjos for Norwegian Air, now undergoing bankruptcy proceedings in both Ireland and Norway.


In his call to deny the foreign air permit to Norse Atlantic, DeFazio argued that the Department of Transportation “imprudently issued” the same permit to Norwegian Air in 2016.

That decision ultimately resulted in a years-long fare war between US carriers and Norwegian over affordable routes between the US and Europe.

A hearing into the matter is due to take place on Thursday.

The new airline, Norse Atlantic Airways, has been launched by Scandinavian aviation industry veterans, with ex-Norwegian Air CEO Kjos holding a 15 per cent stake in the new carrier, and co-founder of OSM Aviation Larsen as a majority stakeholder and CEO of the new carrier.

While it will initially target the trans-Atlantic market, the company has said it may extend its network to the east, with routes to and from Asia in the future, should demand and profitability allow for such an expansion.

Services are expected to begin as soon as late 2021, according to the airline.

The carrier also hopes to list its shares on Oslo’s Euronext Growth stock market as soon as next month.

“We have industry knowledge and have secured modern Dreamliners at very good terms,” Larsen said.

The company has already secured nine ex-Norwegian 787s, and is continuing lease term negotiations on a further three.

Norwegian Air replacement Norse Atlantic hits a roadblock Comment

  • Steve A


    The Bjorns can’t argue that they are an Irish registered airline and therefore not liable for Norwegian labor laws, and then list on the Oslo borse.
    They have just failed with NAS, because long-haul LCC operations weren’t working for them and now they want to do exactly the same thing.
    Needs the US Senate to investigate it further.

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