OSM Aviation, a crewing company that employed most Norwegian cabin crew members, and the founder of Norwegian Mr. Bjørn Kjos, have jointly started a new airline called Norse Atlantic Airways.
The name of the airline is a wordplay itself, as Norse means Norwegian, and it has a plan to operate using 12 long-haul Boeing 787s abandoned by the Norwegian, and serve destinations such as Los Angeles, New York, Paris, and London, and expanding to Asia at a later time.
You can access Norse Atlantic here.
Bjørn Tore Larsen, the man behind OSM Aviation, owns directly and through associated company 63% of the shares, while Bjørn Kjos (the founder of Norwegian) and Bjørn H. Kise own 15% and 12%, respectively.
Next month, the new airline is expected to be listed on the Euronext Growth marketplace and plans to raise roughly a billion NOK in the capital.
Here’s an excerpt from the DN.no:
For Kjos, it was obviously an easy choice to join.
– Norse Atlantic will be an independent company. It is a very right time to start long-distance now, Kjos says to DN, and points to a new start after the corona when the vaccines become widespread.
Kjos joins the board, and wants a collaboration between Norwegian and the new company.
– We will definitely try to achieve that. The two companies have not had time to settle down with this, as Norwegian has been very busy with the reconstruction in Ireland, and Norse Atlantic with setting up long-distance. I believe that both companies can have great synergies. Several million passengers flew between long and short distance in Norwegian, and I hope that can continue, says Kjos.
Here’s the press release from the airline:
New airline Norse Atlantic Airways reveals low-cost long-haul plans
Several well-known investors, with entrepreneur Bjørn Tore Larsen at the helm, today launches plans for Norse Atlantic Airways. The new low-cost airline will initially offer flights on board Boeing 787 Dreamliners between Europe and the USA starting in December.
The company is headed to Euronext Growth on the Oslo Stock Exchange, backed by solid investors who have already secured shares valued at USD 24 million. In addition to Bjørn Tore Larsen and affiliates, Bjørn Kjos and Bjørn Kise are key investors.
“We now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a brand-new airline from scratch. As the world reopens, the public needs an innovative, low-cost intercontinental airline with modern, more environmentally friendly- and fuel-efficient aircraft. We have industry knowledge and have secured modern Dreamliners at very good terms. Norse Atlantic Airways will offer people the opportunity to travel between continents at affordable fares,” said Bjørn Tore Larsen, the company’s founder and CEO.
Norse Atlantic Airways will offer routes that have proven to be both popular and profitable, and will initially fly between the U.S. and Europe, serving destinations such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Paris, and Oslo. The company plans to expand the route network to include destinations in Asia as more Dreamliners enter the fleet. However, growth will be based exclusively on demand and profitability.
“International tourism has been hit hard by the pandemic, and the market for intercontinental flights is currently almost gone. But a new era is coming as the global vaccine program is completed. People will once again go on vacation, visit friends and family, and travel for business. Norse Atlantic Airways will be there to offer attractive and affordable flights to the leisure traveler and the cost-conscious business traveler,” said Larsen.
Aviation expertise and investor support
Several executives with international aviation experience comprise the Norse Atlantic Airways management team. CEO and key shareholder Bjørn Tore Larsen’s experience includes co-founding OSM Aviation and expertise in international shipping. Chief Operating Officer Espen Høiby previously served as OSM Aviation CEO and co-founder. He has also served as Chief of Operations Oslo at SAS. Chief Financial Officer James Lightbourn brings experience in international finance within the transportation sector. Other key roles will be held by executives with work experience from some of the world’s leading legacy and low-cost airlines.
The founder and CEO Bjørn Tore Larsen owns 53 percent of the shares through his company BT Larsen & Co Ltd in addition to 10 percent owned by BT Larsen and affiliates. Bjørn Kjos holds 15 percent and Bjørn Kise 12 percent of the shares. The company will be listed on Euronext Growth on the Oslo Stock Exchange in April. The investor community has already expressed great interest in the new airline; Pareto, Arctic and Sparebank1 have been onboarded as financial advisers.
Norse Atlantic Airways will focus its efforts on being low-fare and low-cost, with a lean management team and administration and global partnerships. Its new Dreamliner aircraft are leased at favorable rates and have a high cabin utilization. That will help keep costs down and ensure its customers attractive offerings at low fares.
We certainly wish Norse Atlantic Airways the very best, but the field is littered with failed low-cost concepts that tried to break into the transatlantic market but all failed. The concept works well with short-haul flights, however.
They can acquire and lease airplanes at very favorable rates due to continuing collapse in travel and airlines, such as Norwegian.
However, the business plan sounds exactly like what Norwegian Air International was doing, and the airline was about to collapse even before the industry hit with the pandemic.
Let’s see if there are willing investors in Norway to put up with the required capital to get the company off the ground.