Norwegian Long Haul
|Founded||1 January 2012|
|Frequent-flyer program||Norwegian Reward|
|Parent company||Norwegian Air Shuttle|
|Headquarters||Fornebu (Bærum), Norway|
|Key people||Bjørn Kjos|
Norwegian Long Haul AS is a division of Norwegian Air Shuttle that operates long-haul flights between Europe, Asia, and the United States with an all-Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet. Norwegian Long Haul is registered in Dublin, Ireland, and is managed by parent company Norwegian Air Shuttle from its head office at Fornebu, Norway. Its capacity is used to operate some of the Norwegian Group's long-haul flights, using Norwegian Air Shuttle's associated airline codes.
Formed in January 2012 by Norwegian Air Shuttle to start long-haul operations, the company commenced transatlantic flights on 30 May 2013. The first scheduled flights were from Oslo and Stockholm to New York JFK and Bangkok, originally with wet-leased A340-300 aircraft while the airline awaited delivery of the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. In March 2013 Norwegian Air Shuttle confirmed a new long haul route from Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm to Fort Lauderdale, beginning on 29 November 2013. In September 2013, Norwegian announced flights from Stockholm to Oakland and Los Angeles beginning in May 2014, from Copenhagen to Los Angeles and New York, and from Oslo to Oakland, Los Angeles and Orlando.
Flights from London Gatwick to New York, Los Angeles, and Fort Lauderdale were announced in October 2013, with service on these routes to commence in July 2014. In April 2015, the airline announced the beginning of flights to San Juan from Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and London beginning in November 2015. Also announced were flights to St. Croix, US Virgin Islands from Copenhagen beginning on 6 November 2015. Permission for thrice-weekly flights between Cork and Boston had been sought in 2015. In July 2016, the airline launched flights from Paris Charles de Gaulle to New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale. In September 2016, the airline announced flights from Barcelona to Los Angeles, Oakland and Newark in June 2017, and Fort Lauderdale in August 2017.
In April 2017, the airline announced flights from London to Seattle, Denver, and Singapore to begin in September 2017. In May 2017, the airline announced flights from Rome to Newark and Los Angeles to begin in November 2017, and to Oakland in February 2018. In June 2017, the airline announced flights from London to Buenos Aires, also to begin in February 2018. In July 2017, the airline announced flights from London to Chicago and Austin to begin in March 2018, as well as flights from Paris to Newark in February 2018, Denver in April 2018, Oakland in April 2018, and Boston in May 2018. In December 2017, the airline announced the starting of flights from Amsterdam to New York in May 2018, from Milan Malpensa to Los Angeles in June 2018, and from Madrid to New York and Los Angeles in July 2018, however due to issues with the Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engines equipped on the airline's Dreamliners and the resultant removal of aircraft from service to undergo maintenance, the services between Milan and Los Angeles were announced to be postponed to 2019, but by March 2019 had still not been announced to return.
On 25 March 2018, Norwegian Air Shuttle transferred Norwegian Long Haul's services from London Gatwick to the United States to instead be operated by Norwegian Air UK, which had already taken over the Norwegian group's flights from London to Singapore and Buenos Aires, and proceeded to take over the announced services to Chicago and Austin. On 28 November 2018, the airline announced new seasonal routes from Boston to Rome and Madrid to begin in March and May 2019 respectively.
On 15 February 2019, the airline announced Athens as a new destination with a seasonal route between New York JFK and Athens International Airport to begin in July 2019, as well as a new seasonal route between Barcelona and Chicago to begin in June 2019.
As of July 2019[update], on behalf of the airline's parent company Norwegian Air Shuttle, and separately from its sister companies, Norwegian Long Haul serves or has at some point served the following destinations:
- ^a : While Norwegian Long Haul no longer operates flights from London–Gatwick or Seattle/Tacoma, these destinations continue to be served by the Norwegian Group through UK-based Norwegian Air UK.
Norwegian has a connection deal with easyJet and WestJet through the program Worldwide by easyJet. The program, established by easyJet in September 2017, allows passengers to book connections between easyJet, Norwegian, and WestJet flights through London's Gatwick Airport via the airport's "GatwickConnects" service, and between easyJet and Norwegian flights at Paris Charles de Gaulle and Barcelona airports.
|Boeing 787-9||35||309||344||Some deliveries to Norwegian Air UK and Norwegian Air Sweden, total allocated number unknown|
Norwegian Air Shuttle CEO Bjørn Kjos was in meetings with Polish politicians in April 2013 about the possible acquisition of LOT Polish Airlines, triggering speculation as to Norwegian Air Shuttle's interest in obtaining more Boeing 787 Dreamliners. During an interview with The Wall Street Journal in July 2014, Bjørn Kjos hinted at buying 20 more 787-9 Dreamliners, with deliveries from 2018, though the airline had refused to confirm this order plan. In October 2015 the airline confirmed that it had ordered 19 more 787-9 Dreamliners.
The airline's Dreamliners were initially registered in Ireland and the Civil Aviation Authority of Norway had given Norwegian Air Shuttle a temporary exemption to operate foreign-registered aircraft. All of the 787-8s have since been re-registered in Norway, while the 787-9s are registered between Norway, Sweden, and the UK.
In August 2018, Norwegian operated a single Airbus A380-800 leased from Hi-Fly, following engine problems with their Dreamliner fleet. Norwegian leased the A380 for a second time in December 2018 to help free up the passenger backlog created by the Gatwick Airport drone incident.
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Norwegian Air Shuttle has been awarded several years in a row as best low-cost airline in Europe. In 2015 their long-haul airline Norwegian Long Haul was awarded the best low-cost long-haul airline in the world by Skytrax World Airline Awards:
- 2015 Norwegian named the most environmentally friendly transatlantic airline by International Council on Clean Transportation
- 2015 World’s Best Low-Cost Long Haul Airline by Skytrax World Airline Awards
- 2016 World's Best Low-Cost Long Haul Airline by Skytrax World Airline Awards
- 2017 World's Best Low-Cost Long Haul Airline by Skytrax World Airline Awards
Criticism during startup
Flight delays in 2013
From the airline's start-up in May 2013, 73 of 97 New York and Bangkok arrivals to Oslo were delayed through September 2013 and two of the aircraft were later grounded due to technical issues. Norwegian Long Haul was extensively criticized in the media for its delays and lack of care for their suffering passengers. The airline's replies to the criticism has varied from deep apologies to neglect and blaming of the aircraft manufacturer and maintenance sub-contractors. Several different sources claim Norwegian has used too tight fleet schedules with its Boeing Dreamliners, having used only three aircraft for three different continents, but the airline disagrees. One of the airline's own technical employees and head of Aircraft Engineers International, Norway, was later threatened by the airline with job termination for publicly answering to the cause of the numerous delays with the airline's Dreamliners as a calculated risk by Norwegian Long Haul.
Norwegian Long Haul wet-leased two Airbus A340-300s from Hi Fly in 2013, but still reached its peak of delays at the end of the year, with a 24-hour delay on its New York – Oslo route. In early January 2014, the airline denied using their Dreamliners beyond their operational capabilities and noted that they had set punctuality as their goal for 2014.
Labour decisions in 2012–13
Against recommendations of the largest aircraft attendant's union in Norway, the Parat union, Norwegian inquired the Norwegian government in 2012 with threats to flag out abroad and demands for rights to hire Asian (non-EU) flight and cabin crew without Norwegian work and residence permits. CEO Bjørn Kjos claimed Norwegian [country] flight crews were too expensive for international routes and the airline later stated it would be able to secure jobs in Norway with such rights, although the union itself was not given insight to the specific inquiry made by the airline. The largest umbrella organization of labour unions in Norway, the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions, threatened to boycott the airline if Norwegian's enquired rights was granted by the Norwegian government.
The permits were not given to the airline and Norwegian obtained Irish registrations for its intercontinental operations as a different, separated airline enabling them to hire Thai cabin attendants through an employment agency (Adecco) in Thailand. This was perceived by the Parat union, the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions, the Minister of Labour and the Labour Party as social dumping, deliberately undermining Norwegian work rights. With the intercontinental airliners now registered in Ireland, rejected by the airline as a flag out as previously threatened, the airline focused its response to the political and labor union related criticism by comparing the salaries of the crew members to the total salary average in the country of the hired attendants. In October 2013 the Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions revealed it would not extend its business agreement with Norwegian.
Incidents and accidents
- On 10 August 2019, Norwegian Long Haul Flight 7115 from Rome Fiumicino to Los Angeles International Airport operated by a Boeing 787-8 registered LN-LND had an engine failure after departure during the initial climb. Falling engine debris hit at least 25 vehicles, 12 houses, and one person on the ground. The aircraft returned to Fiumicino airport for a safe landing after 23 minutes. None of the 298 passengers and crew on board the aircraft were injured.
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