Norway has a new low-cost airline aiming to crack transatlantic market

OSLO, March 15 (Reuters) - Airline industry veterans in Norway have set up a new carrier, Norse Atlantic Airways, aiming to crack the long-haul discount market after Norwegian Air’s exit from transatlantic routes.

Bjoern Kjos, founder and former CEO of Norwegian Air, holds a 15% stake in Norse Atlantic, which is majority owned by Bjoern Tore Larsen, a co-founder of staffing company OSM Aviation, Norse Atlantic Airways said in a statement announcing the new carrier on Monday.

The budget airline plans to fly from U.S. destinations such as New York, Los Angeles and Miami to European cities including London, Paris and Oslo. It plans to begin its services late this year and also aims to list its shares on Oslo’s Euronext Growth stock market next month, it said.

The airline will be seeking to fill a gap left by Norwegian, which offered low-cost transatlantic flights until mounting debt problems and the collapse of travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to exit its long-haul business, leaving a slimmed-down airline focusing on Nordic and European routes.

Norse Atlantic said it would be using Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

“We have industry knowledge and have secured modern Dreamliners at very good terms,” Larsen, who is also the new carrier’s CEO, said in the company’s statement.

He did not say how many aircraft the company had signed leasing deals for.

Norse Atlantic will seek to expand based on demand and profitability, and could eventually also include destinations in Asia, it said. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik; Editing by Susan Fenton)