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Norwegian launches flights from the U.S. to Rome

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Norwegian has announced it will launch flights from three cities in the United States – Los Angeles, New York City/Newark and Oakland/San Francisco – to Rome, Italy, from November. Rome will be the airline’s seventh long-haul European destination served from the U.S. following Barcelona, which will launch this June; Paris; London; and the three Scandinavian capitals of Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm.

The world’s fastest-growing airline will launch at least 25 new routes out of the U.S. this year, including 12 transatlantic routes to be operated by the Boeing 737-MAX to Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Norway, as well as three new routes to the French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique, from Providence, Rhode Island, and Fort Lauderdale. Norwegian operates one of the world’s youngest fleets, and the new Rome routes will be served by brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

“Rome is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, and a favorite among Americans, so it was an obvious choice for us as we continue to expand our transatlantic presence. Soon Norwegian will offer more transatlantic routes than any other airline in the world. More U.S. routes mean we will create more American jobs and offer American travelers even more affordable fares,” said Thomas Ramdahl, Norwegian’s Chief Commercial Officer.

Service from Newark Liberty International Airport to Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport will launch on November 9, 2017, and operate four times a week until the early February 2018 when it increases to six times per week.

Service from Los Angeles International Airport to Rome will launch on November 11, 2017, and operate twice weekly until February, when it becomes a thrice weekly service. Flights from Oakland International Airport to Rome will launch on February 6, 2018, with a twice weekly service.

Economy launch fares to Rome from Newark start as low as $189 one-way, including taxes; fares from both Los Angeles and Oakland start from $229 one-way, including taxes. The lowest fares in Norwegian’s Premium Cabin to Barcelona from Newark start at $539 one-way including taxes; Premium fares from both Los Angeles and Oakland start at $719 one-way including taxes. Premium service includes a dedicated check-in counter, additional luggage allowance, fast track security, lounge access, priority boarding, sleeper seats, all meals and drinks.

All fares are now available for sale on Norwegian’s website. Additionally, the website’s low fare calendar displays the lowest available fares to all of Norwegian’s destinations.

Rome will be the 13th European city with nonstop service from the U.S. in Norwegian’s ever-growing route network. Overall, Norwegian now offers 52 transatlantic flights from 13 U.S. airports to Denmark, France, Ireland, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom, as well six routes to the French Caribbean, totaling 58 routes out of the United States. Upcoming launches from the U.S. include: Los Angeles to Barcelona (June 5); New York/Newark to Barcelona (June 6); Oakland/San Francisco to Barcelona (June 7); Newburgh/Stewart to Edinburgh (June 15); Providence to Edinburgh (June 15), Hartford to Edinburgh (June 17); Newburgh/Stewart to Belfast (July 1); Newburgh/Stewart to Dublin (July 1); Providence to Belfast (July 1); Providence to Bergen (July 1); Newburgh/Stewart to Bergen (July 2); Newburgh/Stewart to Shannon (July 2); Providence to Dublin (July 2); Providence to Cork (July 3); Providence to Shannon (July 3); Orlando to Paris (July 31); Fort Lauderdale to Barcelona (August 22); Denver to London (September 16); Seattle to London (September 17); Providence to Guadeloupe (October 29); Providence to Martinique (October 30); Fort Lauderdale to Martinique (October 30); New York/Newark to Rome (November 9); Los Angeles to Rome (November 11); and Oakland/San Francisco to Rome (February 6, 2018).

SAS to fly direct from Stockholm to Miami from October

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Today SAS is announcing a new direct route between Stockholm and Miami from October 2017, which will depart once a week on Sundays starting October 29th. The new route is in response to demand from SAS’ customers, with the direct routes from both Oslo and Copenhagen proving very popular. SAS now flies direct from Stockholm to Miami, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Hong Kong in Asia.

“We have been looking forward to opening another direct route to the USA, this time between Stockholm and the popular destination of Miami,” says Annelie Nässén, VP Global Sales at SAS. “We always try to offer our customers a unique and special travel experience with SAS and we now fly direct from Scandinavia to seven destinations in the USA.”

The route between Stockholm and Miami International Airport is operated by an Airbus 330 featuring the new SAS cabin. Including this new route, SAS now has 12 direct routes to the USA, four of which were launched in 2016. The new route between Stockholm and Miami joins existing routes from Oslo and Copenhagen to Miami. SAS also launched a direct route from Stockholm to Los Angeles last year as well as a new route from Copenhagen to Boston which will now be served three times a week by an SAS A330, increasing seat capacity with 55 %.

Timetable:
ARN-MIA SK 957. Departure: 09.25. Arrival: 14.15
MIA-ARN SK 958. Departure: 16.05. Arrival: 07.35

IAG to launch new low-cost longhaul airline

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

International Airlines Group (IAG) is launching LEVEL – a new low cost longhaul airline brand that will take to the skies in June 2017 with flights from Barcelona to Los Angeles, Oakland, Buenos Aires and Punta Cana.

LEVEL will fly two new Airbus A330 aircraft branded in its own livery and fitted with 293 economy and 21 premium economy seats. Initially it will be operated by Iberia's flight and cabin crew and will create up to 250 jobs based in Barcelona.

Barcelona has been chosen as the first European city for the launch of IAG's new operation but LEVEL will look to expand its flights from other European cities. Fares start from €99/US$149 one way and tickets are on sale at flylevel.com

Checked luggage (in addition to a free cabin bag), meals, seat selection and the latest movie releases will be complimentary for customers flying in premium economy. Those travelling in economy can chose what they want to buy based on a menu of choices. All customers will have access to next generation inflight technology with a wide range of onboard entertainment options. High speed internet connectivity will be available with prices starting at €8.99.

LEVEL's customers will be able to earn and redeem Avios – the loyalty currency for IAG's airlines. This will give them the opportunity to fly to 380 destinations across the Group's network.

Willie Walsh, IAG chief executive, said: "LEVEL is an exciting new IAG airline brand which will bring a stylish and modern approach to flying at prices that are even more affordable. It will benefit from having the strength of one of the world's largest airline groups behind it.

"LEVEL will become IAG's fifth main airline brand alongside Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling. It will complement our existing airline portfolio and further diversify our current customer base.

"Barcelona is Vueling's home base and this will allow customers to connect from Vueling's extensive European network onto LEVEL's longhaul flights.

"This is just the start. We're really excited about the opportunities for expansion and we plan to bring LEVEL to other European destinations."

Alaska Airlines to retire Virgin America brand

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Alaska Airlines and Virgin America today shared their vision for the future of the combined carrier, as the company solidifies its status as the West Coast's premier airline.

After careful consideration, the combined company will adopt Alaska's name and logo, retiring the Virgin America name likely sometime in 2019. However, the combined airline will adopt many of the brand elements that Virgin America enthusiasts love about their favorite airline, including enhanced in-flight entertainment, mood lighting, music and the relentless desire to make flying a different experience for guests. The goal is to create a warm and welcoming West Coast-inspired vibe.

"Our goal from the very beginning of this merger was to become the go-to airline for people on the West Coast, with low fares, convenient flights, a premium product and genuine, caring service," said Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Air Group. "Three months in, we've dramatically grown our presence in California and are united behind a new purpose: Creating an airline people love."

Alaska has been actively growing the airlines' newly combined networks since closing the merger in December. Earlier this month, the airline announced 21 new markets with 25 new daily departures out of San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles and San Jose, California – marking the largest addition of routes in the company's history.

"We spent the last 10 months conducting extensive research and listening carefully to what fliers on the West Coast want most," said Sangita Woerner, Alaska Airlines' vice president of marketing. "While the Virgin America name is beloved to many, we concluded that to be successful on the West Coast we had to do so under one name - for consistency and efficiency, and to allow us to continue to deliver low fares."

In addition to low fares, network growth and award-winning service, Alaska will spend the next few years making major enhancements to its already award-winning guest experience and incorporating favorite elements of the Virgin America experience.

Norwegian receives final approval from US Department of Transportation

  • Written by Teijo Niemelä
  • Category: Air & Sea

Responding to news that the US Department of Transportation has approved Norwegian Air International's (NAI) application for a foreign carrier permit, a Norwegian spokesperson said: "We welcome the long overdue news that Norwegian Air International (NAI) has been awarded a foreign carrier permit by the US Department of Transportation.

"This approval finally makes it possible for us to plan the Cork to the U.S. routes we, and many others, have been looking forward to. We also now look forward to our foreign carrier permit for Norwegian Air UK (NUK) being approved next.

“We would like to thank the many airports, airlines, industry and business groups, politicians and members of the public in Europe, the US, and Ireland in particular who have offered us their continued support over the last three years.

“While the delays Norwegian have faced have been unfortunate and unnecessary, ultimately the decision now made by the US DOT finally paves the way for greater competition, more flights and more jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Above all, it is a victory for millions of passengers who will benefit from more choice and lower fares. We now look forward to working on our plans for Norwegian's continued expansion in the US, delivering the flights, jobs and economic boost we always promised we would.”

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