Norwegian plays down plans for Sydney fights

Norwegian plays down plans for Sydney fights

Norwegian Air has made tentative plans to commence flying to Australia, however the airline doesn't expect flights to begin any time soon.

The low-cost airline pencilled Sydney and Melbourne onto an ambit 'laundry list' of some 155 cities – 75 domestic and 80 international – which could be flown from Argentina, which would serve as a South American hub to the Europe and the USA.

However, the optimistic roster pitches significantly more routes than the airline has aircraft. A spokesperson from Norwegian Air admitted to Australian Business Traveller than even if the application to  Argentina's civil aviation authority was approved "it would still be a number of years before many of the routes move forwards."

More likely to eventuate are rumoured plans to fly from Singapore to Sydney and Melbourne, linking both cities with the London-Singapore Boeing 787-9 service which Norwegian Air will launch this week.

This would make Norwegian the only budget-minded airline with 'business class' on the Kangaroo Route, although the reclining seats are more akin to what you'd find in the premium economy cabin of other airlines – although you still get meals and drinks, AC and USB power and checked luggage.

Norwegian Airlines declined to comment specifically on plans to fly to Australia from Singapore, with the spokesperson saying only that "there are no immediate plans to serve Australia at this stage."

David Flynn
David Flynn is the editor of Australian Business Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.
 

13 comments

  • apacau

    apacau

    26 Sep, 2017 07:03 am

    Having recently flown a few intra European sectors on Norwegian and watching them with interest for some time, they are a seriously impressive outfit and blend LCC with a lot of the benefits I look for in a full service carrier. I wonder how they make money, but if they do and continue to grow, it will be a good thing! They would certainly shake up the long haul LCC market into Australia if they indeed started services.
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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    26 Sep, 2017 08:44 am

    SO I just did a price check on their London-SIN route for may next year...I can go with them for £462 on their "lowfare+" option or just go with SQ for £508 with a choice of 4 flights a day everyday. Their premium option comes in at £1350 vs SQ W for £1200.
    These prices don't seem low cost to me. plus I can make better use of the krisflyer points earned from SQ.
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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    26 Sep, 2017 08:46 am

    btw those are return prices
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    26 Sep, 2017 04:32 pm

    @elchriss0:
    "Their premium option comes in at £1350 vs SQ W for £1200."
    I think the diff in fare is partly due to:
    1) Norwegian provides lounge access while SQ doesn't.
    2) Norwegian provides 21% greater seat pitch than SQ while seat width is competitive(Norwegian's is wider than SQ's 77W but narrower than SQ's 380).

    But I agree with your main point re this route:
    As a LCC, Norwegian's fare is not 'low cost' enough relative to FSCs @ equivalent level of inflight product+service bundle.
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  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    26 Sep, 2017 09:49 am

    I'd welcome a true low-cost alternative for Sydney-London, as long as the 'premium cabin' experience is comfortable doesn't nickel-and-dime me for extras, oh and as elchriss0 says is actually price-competitive with the full service airlines!
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  • Dave

    Grannular

    26 Sep, 2017 10:17 am

    So let me just confirm this, you want full service at LCC price? Ok then...
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  • Bob Burgess

    Bob Burgess

    26 Sep, 2017 10:49 am

    No, I don't expect the level of a 'full service' airline like Qantas, Singapore Airlines etc, but I do expect that as a premium cabin passenger I don't have to pay for meals, drinks, blankets, pillows, checked luggage etc, basically all the things which are add-ons in economy. Lounge access would be nice if there was a long transit stop in Singapore for example but these airlines run a tight ship so I'd be fine if Norwegian didn't offer that or maybe had a discount voucher for a Priority Pass or SATS lounge for example.
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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    26 Sep, 2017 02:28 pm

    Their website says they offer lounge access but i didn't bother checking to see which lounge
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    26 Sep, 2017 04:42 pm

    @Bob Burgess:
    " I do expect that as a premium cabin passenger I don't have to pay for meals, drinks, blankets, pillows, checked luggage etc..."
    For those longhaul LCCs which operate/sell a premium cabin, I still hv not come across 1 in which the lowest, super-duper, limited time, discounted fare for such cabin does NOT include meals, drinks, blankets, pillows, checked luggage etc. In fact, most included lounge access while PY fare fm FSCs rarely includes lounge access.
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    26 Sep, 2017 04:52 pm

    @Bob Burgess:
    "...as long as the 'premium cabin' experience is comfortable"
    Hard product stds/specs of Norwegian's premium cabin easily exceeds the PY cabin of nearly all FSCs including SQ & QF.

    "...doesn't nickel-and-dime me for extras."
    Pre-conceived notion about anything re LCC?

    By my experience, premium cabin product on longhaul LCC is quite a diff animal fm the shorthaul LCC stereotype.
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  • elchriss0

    elchriss0

    27 Sep, 2017 08:40 am

    I guess some people are comparing them to the likes of scoot where they only give you 1 meal and still have to pay for any extra snacks/drinks but then they price their 'biz' similar to SQ Y so it's all relative
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  • FLX

    FLX1

    27 Sep, 2017 10:53 pm

    elchriss0:
    "..some people are comparing them to the likes of scoot where they only give you 1 meal and still have to pay for any extra snacks/drinks.."
    Understand. However, Scoot ops in AU is not a fair benchmark to anticipate Norwegian's premium cabin product on very long sectors such as any hypothetical AU-EU routes:

    Scoot=
    Longest sector for SIN-AU is well below 8hrs(similar to DXB-EU routes)....really medium-haul by global std in which 1 full meal is typical regardless of cabin class.

    Norwegian=
    LGW-SIN is @ least 12h40m and beyond 14hrs in reverse(e.g. many folks don't even stay awake that long in a typical work day on the ground)...clearly longhaul(may be even extra-longhaul) by global std in which 2 full meals is typical.

    "...they price their 'biz' similar to SQ Y so it's all relative."
    SQ may offer all-U-can-snack/drink(but still 1 meal service though) in Y for its AU routes but hard product specs wise(i.e. seat space/recline), it's objectively in a diff league lower than ScootBiz.
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  • chap6595

    chap6595

    26 Sep, 2017 12:34 pm

    Don't forget Emrirates is looking at Budget Economy on their planes. Cheaper than economy and less frills. Interesting concept.
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17 Jul, 2019 09:04 pm

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