Adrian Loveridge Column – Norwegian Airlines the Way to Fly

Last week I returned to Barbados after taking a rather tedious, protracted but inexpensive route from Gatwick to Miami with Norwegian Airlines and onwards with the late American Airlines flight into Grantley Adams arriving around 11 pm. It is not recommended for the faint of heart, even if all involved flights leave and arrive on-time, which sadly they did not, being delayed over two hours past scheduled departure at Gatwick awaiting connecting passengers.

But as stated, the price is right.

For some time I have been trying to persuade our policymakers to tempt Norwegian Airlines into the Southern Caribbean with a non-stop or triangle route service from Continental Europe, preferably Scandinavia, where they have a considerable presence, to hopefully partially regain a significant market we had in the long distant past.  Up until this flight, I had not personally flown with Norwegian, or in fact one of the 37, B787 ‘Dreamliner’ aircraft they operate.

Often stated in media outlets, Norwegian ‘does it differently’ and that is certainly the case in my personal experience. Unless you book (and pay) for a whole host of ‘extras’, prior to flying, which includes even the basics like a bottle of water or snack, everything else can be ordered and paid for whilst in your assigned seat.

Frankly, after five decades of flying in commercial aircraft, I have never seen a cabin crew work so hard. Up and down the aisles throughout the ten plus hours of the flight, mostly delivering what appeared non- alcoholic drinks and many would class as convenience food. My first thought was, does this work for them and what percentage of their overall turnover is made up of onboard sales?

As a low-cost carrier, they have built an enviable reputation, carrying a quoted 37 million passengers in 2018, with a fleet of around 170 aircraft while boasting an average age of only 3.7 years, servicing over 150 destinations worldwide.

This phenomenal growth though, has not been without its challenges. Among its new fleet are 18, B737 Max aircraft, which according to their own media releases, they do not expect to get back into service until as late as September this year.

Their B787 Dreamliner’s powered by Rolls Royce Trent 100 engines, which due to various reliability issues, making them ‘susceptible to cracks in the fan blades’ have resulted in up to one third of their own planes of this type having been grounded at any given time. Again, according to media reports these engines will all be replaced over a given time period.

Under the company’s recent change of their Chief Executive Officer and new management appointments, including former CCO (Chief Commercial Officer) of JetBlue, Marty St.George, the company plans to focus on profitability, rather that growth, at least for the foreseeable future. But that should not blinker our hopes that they may be persuaded to return to the Caribbean, given the type of aircraft operated and the utilization our region offers to European based carriers.

14 comments

  • Norwegian Cruises seems to be a popular option as well.

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  • Shows the folly of having a one-leg development model.

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  • fortyacresandamule

    Norwegian Airlines transatlantic low-cost operation is under huge financial pressure. Flying schedule fligts into the caribbean won’t be happening.

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  • fortyacresandamule

    And probably those ” hard working cabin crews ” are non-Norwegian workers that the airline used to circumvent Norway’s labor laws.

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  • fortyacres… quite to the contrary – certainly the 7 or 8 cabin crew I encountered on this flight and the Captain were all Norwegian.

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  • And fortyacres… you perhaps forget that Norway has the largest Sovereign Wealth Fund in the world and with the name ‘Norwegian’ in there, I doubt they will let the carrier die without some resistance. Many, many airlines have faced critical economic problems and survived, with perhaps British Airways being a classic example, which would have disappeared without taxpayer intervention on at least two occasions.

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  • @ Adrian Loveridge

    Bimjim or Mr Lynch a knowledgeable commentator here on airlines let slip that the airport procedures and standards here (AND REGIONALLY( are of such a poor quality that US Airline Certifying Authorities continue to give us a failing grade.

    De ole man would therefore ask me own stupid question

    Here you are talking about a premiere Norwegian airlines risking its safety reputation (NOT TO MENTION ITS ON TIME REPUTATION) on the competencies of local mechanics for the review and proactive mechanical support of their craft.

    How do you, A MAN WHO CANNOT EVEN GET THE GOVERNMENT OF BARBADOS TO BUY IN ON YOUR REDISCOVER INITIATIVE, feel that the commensurate enabling matrix for a Norwegian airline going progress?

    Now do try to be frank IF YOU COME BACK TO ANSWER

    Heheheheh

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  • Piece of L, given your observations, then it would be logical to think that ‘we’ could not attract any international carriers. And just to correct you, the GOB does support the re-DISCOVER initiative, but up until now, probably not at the level we would like.

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  • @ Adrian Loveridge

    I put it to you that, given the international carriers we have attracted, their decision to even come to Barbados was predicated on them examining our competencies, and lack thereof and their ready availability of proximate supply chain equipment.

    How long is a BA Flight vis a vis a Norwegian?

    What type of preparation is facilitated in the UK for its 8 hour flights?

    What fallback does BA have regarding ground support?

    Would such obtain for Norwegian for them to give serious consideration to pursue such an investment in Barbados ?

    One can see them flying to Dubai but you dont fly the 2nd leg of a plane back empty BECAUSE YOU LIKE A NICE IDEA ON PAPER or Barbados!

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  • @ the Honourable Blogmaster

    I put it to you that with 3 to 4 more of those robberies directed at white people WITH HOPEFULLY A FEW DEATHS & THE ISSUE OF GUN CRIME IN BARBADOS gine dun!

    De ole man ent sorry neider bout my seemingly heartless comments eider!

    50 get shot last year

    49 dead in 2019 and de last feller who get shoot in December he was did dead in January 2020!

    All of dem was black people who get spraddle all over de streets.

    And Mugabe Mottley and AG Teets Marshall ent do a ting.

    Now de Police & BTMI and everybody in dis matter!

    And listen to de Man from de Royal Baygon Police Force

    “…“Ken can’t travel back yet. He’s still got a tube in his left lung,” Brooks said.

    “They’ve got to stabilize him and they also would like to pull the bullet out.

    They need it for forensic evidence.”

    You hear dat shy$e!

    The way he say dat shy$e bot de bullet? It sound like if he left wid de bullet in he spine it might compromise the RH forensic evidence!

    You see why I tell wunna 80% of dem is Stoopid as RH!

    Why add on dat inconsequential detail bout forensic evidence?

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  • fortyacresandamule

    @Adrian. I am glad to hear most of the crews were Norwegians. Norwegian Airlines is not Scandanavia airlines (SAS). Therefore, I doubt if it should fail, the goverment of Norway would bail it out with its wealth fund. The company had to scramble to reschedule its bond payment that was due last year. Those transatlantic long-haul flights is a loss center for the company right now.

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  • There is nothing that compares to pressure and bad PR from the international media. Especially from a key source market.

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  • De ole man had was to go to the internet to teif this information to make what must be an obvious point

    “…
    Airline Operating Expenses

    ­Running an airline is unavoidably expensive. One of the most basic costs is the price of buying the airplanes themselves. For instance, a Boeing 737, a relatively small passenger jet, costs around $50 million or more. Larger jets can approach $300 million in price [source: Boeing].

    Hiring qualified pilots to fly the planes is another major cost. A pilot with 10 years of experience will earn upwards of $100,000 in annual salary.

    First officers and other crew members make less, but still represent a major cost..”

    I am sure that for many here de ole man am stating the obvious but IF THERE IS ONE CONSISTENT THING ABOUT AIRLINES is the fact that they all tell you long flights are not the most desirable because of the enormous amount of fuel they use.

    Now you are suggesting that Norwegian takes a US$300 million plus aircraft and put it in a depressed market like Barbados?

    Why is that again?

    Ohhhh! cause dem like cou cou and flying fish bad

    There has to be a reason and it’s called profits

    Liked by 1 person

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