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Flying the Norwegian way: long-haul treatment for less money

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Anastasia Dagaeva
October 20, 2017
Norwegian no-frills airline opened the longest-distance ever low-cost service — from London to Singapore. The entire trip flown in the seat of the newest Boeing-787-9 Dreamliner would take 12 hours 45 minutes. The cheapest fare is £150 one-way ($200). The premium is £700 ($940) — this includes additional package — access to the lounge in the airport in London, more personal space onboard. The similar trip with Singapore Airlines or British Airways has the same price tag but no bonuses. 

Norwegian is one of those so-called long-haul low-cost carriers (LLCC). The business model is well known within the industry — back in the 50s Icelandic Airlines pioneered the idea of a budget Trans-Atlantic air travel. Since the mid-2000s, the phenomenon of LLCC got mature. Asia leads the statistics with more than a half of the World’s two-dozen long-haul low-cost carriers operating in the region. The people’s favorite is AirAsia backed by Malaysian entrepreneur Tony Fernandes.  

Another interesting take on what can be done on the long-haul market from a low-cost perspective is that offered by low cost carriers that due to the geographical position can offer relatively cheap flights to other continents through their own home bases — for example Icelandic airline WOW.  This low cost carrier is leveraging on the long-time practice of Icelandic airlines of using their island as a convenient stepping stone to reach North America from Europe. The geographical location of Iceland makes it possible for WOW to use an Airbus-only fleet to connect destinations on both continents for as little as $99 each way.

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