Travelers may soon find even more competitive transatlantic fares, now that Norwegian Air Shuttle’s U.K. subsidiary has a foreign air carrier permit from the Department of Transportation (DOT).
While the approval is tentative, final authorization could allow the third division of the Norwegian Air Group to service flights in the United States.
That would mean more planes and more routes — at even lower prices.
As recently as December, the Norway-based Norwegian Air Shuttle and the company’s Irish branch, Norwegian Air International, both received certification from the DOT.
What followed was a thumbs-up from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that allowed the low-cost airlines to introduce $65 flights from the U.S. to Ireland and the United Kingdom.
The introduction of these European airlines almost immediately drove prices to Europe way down: Icelandic budget airline WOW Air responded to Norwegian by selling $69.99 flights between California and Europe.
Increased competition — not to mention efficient aircraft and a strong dollar — has made these affordable fares common. In March, Norwegian Air introduced flights from New York and Rhode Island to Norway for only $89 one-way.
While there are no official plans to launch Norwegian Air Shuttle U.K. flights in the United States (yet), travelers should watch closely for more ridiculously cheap flights to Europe.
Norwegian’s chief executive Bjørn Kjos, told The Telegraph that, pending full approval, the U.K. subsidiary could offer “millions of passengers even more routes and lower fares.”
The foreign air carrier permit could become permanent by early August, barring any new objections.