Discount Norwegian airline adding an Orlando route

Discount Norwegian airline adding an Orlando route

Norwegian Air Dreamliner now flies to Orlando
Norwegian Air Dreamliner now flies to Orlando

The budget airline Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA plans to start twice-a-week, nonstop flights between Orlando and Oslo, Norway, next year using brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Norwegian, the first budget passenger carrier in recent years to offer transatlantic flights, also plans to establish bases in Fort Lauderdale and New York as it significantly increases service between Scandinavia and the U.S.

Norwegian said Tuesday it will add flights next May to Orlando, Los Angeles and San Francisco, on top of its existing routes to Fort Lauderdale and New York.

The airline placed Europe's biggest aircraft order last year when it bought 222 planes from Boeing and Airbus. It has been one of Europe's most successful carriers, taking market share from SAS and also expanding beyond its historical territory with bases in London and in Spain.

The service to Norway is the first at Orlando International Airport scheduled to use the Dreamliner, Boeing's newest passenger jet, airport spokeswoman Carolyn Fennell said. The much-anticipated Dreamliner aircraft are designed to be more fuel-efficient than other planes, but the aircraft were grounded earlier this year amid concerns about their batteries.The flights by Norweigan Air Shuttle give Orlando International, which seeks to expand its international air service, an additional nonstop destination and point of origin in Europe. Current nonstop flights to Europe from OIA include service to Frankfurt by Lufthansa AG, to Dublin by Aer Lingus, and to the United Kingdom by Virgin Atlantic and British Airways.

Norwegian's Orlando-Oslo flights are scheduled initially for Thursdays and Saturdays, with a capacity of 291 passengers each time. The new route will also allow travelers to make direct connections in Oslo to destinations elsewhere in Europe, including Russia, as well as to Thailand, according to information released by OIA.

Norwegian launched its long-haul routes earlier this year when it received the first of eight 787 Dreamliners from Boeing. It said it has recorded a 96 percent load factor, or average occupancy, on those flights.

The airline said it can operate the long-haul flights 30 percent cheaper than conventional airlines can, primarily because of the Dreamliners' lower operating costs.

To help launch its Orlando-Oslo service, Norwegian is offering an introductory fare of $236 each way, including taxes and fees.

Future plans include flying direct to Orlando and Fort Lauderdale from London Gatwick on the new Dreamliner which should come into affect in 2015.

Why not combine a cheap flight with Norwegian with a villa rental in Orlando - see our website for more details.