Smid wrote:There does seem to be doubts about the long term sustainability of the Norwegian model, it does seem to be grabbing a whole selection of new routes... Are they any other long haul low costers to compare with?
Level is a Norwegian-style equivalent. They are IAG's new low-cost long-haul airline that started ops out of Barcelona earlier this year and go head-to-head with Norwegian out of BCN. I believe Air France are also launching a low-cost long-haul airline very soon.
Traveller2 wrote:If anyone is interested, if you go onto the Air Travel forum on Trip Advisor, there is a relatively new post (written on the 15th) on there titled "Norwegian's disasterous financial report" ...or something similar. It might be worth reading?
Here's one article: https://leehamnews.com/2017/07/12/is-no ... n-trouble/
Interesting reading indeed.
Putting Norwegian's finances aside for one minute, I think it would be irresponsible to dismiss Norwegian as a threat to VS. They're growing at a rate of knots out of LGW, they already compete on the MCO route and indirectly on other routes such as New York. As soon as they can acquire more aircraft, I believe it's only a matter of time before they start long-haul routes out of MAN where VS and Thomas Cook have been growing in recent years.
Don't forget they are taking delivery of 737 MAX-8's which are capable of doing UK-US East Coast routes non-stop and are told are perfectly viable to use on long routes, as well as having A321neoLR's on order (bigger still and are being pitched to airlines as replacements for 757's on longer routes such as how AA, United and Delta use them on TATL routes). The use of A321neoLR's may end up being more viable to use on routes such as MAN-JFK during the winter months than a widebody, and part of me wonders if the lack of 757-sized aircraft is one factor behind that route's frequency cuts with VS this winter?
If there is a seismic shift in trade towards Norwegian and it hits revenue, then the likes of VS may be pushed into reconsidering their product offerings in much the same way that legacy flag carriers have done in response to the growth of LCC's such as Ryanair and easyJet (plus Wizz and Norwegian amongst other smaller players) on short-haul routes.
Short-haul flying attitudes have changed thanks to LCC's. Given Norwegian's success to date, I can't see why it won't be the same to an extent with long-haul, particularly amongst folk who still want to go the USA despite the weak pound vs the dollar and will look to the likes of Norwegian to see if they can make the sums work.
PaulS wrote:I remember flying on Freddie Lakers Skytrain which blazed the trail for VS. There fare structure was as basic as it could be. I remember that at that time 1982 £247 was an expensive economy ticket so I packed my own sandwiches and enjoyed the flight. It wouldn't be th e end of the world if through competition airlines offered a basic get you there price which you could then build up to suit. After all the "Boots" meal deal is often better that what's served in economy anyway.
You see, I'm not against the concept of "building" my own fare to include the things I want, particularly if it results in a total fare that's lower than another fare where it's all included anyway. For very short trips for example (say no more than 3 or 4 nights), you can often get away with taking on a carry-on suitcase and that means you can make a swift getaway from the destination airport once you've cleared immigration. My objections lie with the way some LCC's charge for these elements to the point that it's no cheaper or more expensive than another fare where it's all included.
I also suspect some people don't do their homework and immediately book with one airline (i.e. Ryanair) on the assumption that they are/will be cheaper than the competition, when in some cases it's not always the case and taking the time to do your research can sometimes lead to surprising results. For that reason, I suspect VS, BA and other airlines might have a battle on their hands to change the mindset of those who don't shop around if Norwegian manage to convince enough people who choose flights purely on cost and those who aren't necessarily loyal if it's significantly cheaper elsewhere that they are cheaper than the rest.