Boeing's Dreamliner jet isn't just making airlines more profitable. Combined with no-frills service, the 787 is making it cheaper to fly from the United States to Europe.
Earlier this year, the Norwegian Air Shuttle launched daily service between New York City and Scandinavian cities. And this week the airline launched new intercontinental routes between Los Angeles, Oakland and Orlando and Scandinavia -- cities like Copenhagen, Stockholm, and Oslo.
How cheap are we talking? Time reports:
The airline will be using Boeing’s new 787 Dreamliner planes, which Norwegian thinks it can operate at a cost of 30% less than the usual long-haul aircraft. And at least when it first introduces service to its new U.S. cities, Norwegian’s prices will reflect those lower operating costs. Introductory fares from Los Angeles, Orlando, and Oakland to Scandinavia start at just $237 each way, taxes and fees included.
A quick search on Google Flights shows that a flight from Orlando to Oslo on SAS, the largest carrier in Scandinavia, will set you back at least $855 during November, but generally around $1,000 or more.
The catch, of course, with the Norwegian Air Shuttle routes is that you're just paying for a basic seat. If you're familiar with Ryanair's business model, that means you pay for any extras, including bags. The other downside, Time points out, is that many of the routes only run a few times a week. You do not want to miss those flights.
It's not the first time a budget airline has tried adding long-haul flights. But you probably haven't heard much of them because they didn't work out. Will Norwegian be any different? Possibly. Already the new routes have helped the airline post record passenger numbers in July and 14 percent growth from last year in August.
According to Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos, "our long-haul operation has been very well received."
Read more: Time