LONDON – Norwegian start-up airline Norse Atlantic Airways has announced that it will sublease four of its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft to Spanish carrier Air Europa, with the agreement expected to be run over 18 months starting from the second quarter of 2022.
The agreement is for two 787-8s and two 787-9s, with Norse saying that this will allow them to run a positive cash flow on aircraft they are not using during their initial growth and operations stage.
It is believed that the sublease agreement will be officially confirmed as a done deal by the end of April as both airlines work to ensure all documentation and paperwork is in order by this period.
Planning Out Long Term Growth
Norse Atlantic Airways surely does not want to make the same mistakes a fellow Norwegian carrier Norwegian Air when it comes to expanding its fleet and market options.
Making this sublease agreement a great and logical move as the carrier will be able to focus on its primary launch routes with a more manageable fleet size is particularly important that might become during this busy summer period as the airline may not be able to recruit new crew fast enough for a large fleet as airlines and airports globally struggle.
Norse CEO Bjørn Tore Larsen said: “This sublease agreement with Air Europa provides a compelling opportunity to generate positive cash flow from aircraft that we were not planning to fully utilize in our start-up phase.”
“The agreement strengthens our already solid financial position as we continue to stay true to our strategy of cautiously entering the market and ramping up based on customer demand”.
The carrier is expected to commence ticket sales later this month, with its inaugural service expecting to take off in June with the carrier initially launching services from Oslo to Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles and Florida, with the full breakdown of the route network expecting to be announced at the same period ticket sales, go live.
Raising COVID-19 Cases in America A Possible Concern
As the U.S airlines push to have the mask mandate removed, it has been said now that the option to extend this is on the cards, after some states have brought back mask mandates for people while they are indoors as COVID-19 cases continue to sharply rise again, coinciding with high demand and a large amount of travel.
While this is not going to directly affect Norse Airways, it could be a slight cause for concern for the carrier, particularly if the US decides to limit services to certain states in order to control the rate of infection among travelers.
However, despite this, the airline’s CEO Bjørn Tore Larsen remains optimistic about the long-term plans for the carrier and doesn’t seem to be worried about the rising numbers.
Adding to his previous comment he said: “We strongly believe that the demand for transatlantic travel will eventually bounce back with full force because people will want to explore new destinations, visit friends and family, and travel for business.”
“Norse will be there to offer attractive and affordable flights on our more environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient Boeing 787 Dreamliners to both leisure and cost-conscious business travelers”.