Giving travel advice on a daily basis, I hear a lot of ‘excuses’ for why someone isn’t able travel often. Some of those excuse are totally justified and sometimes out of one’s control, but it looks like cost may not have to be one of them.
Norwegian Air announced today that $69 one-way flights are indeed happening. These ultra-inexpensive flights from the East Coast to Europe are being made possible in part to Boeing’s new 737 MAX. Norwegian air is expecting delivery of these next generation aircraft from Boeing sometime in 2017.
Another huge win for Norwegian is the DOT’s recent ruling allowing Norwegian to commence US-bound flights from Ireland. We will soon be seeing the 737 MAX operating transatlantic flights from Dublin, Cork, and Shannon, Ireland. How cool is that!
Ever heard of Stewart International Airport? If you aren’t from the East Coast, chances are you haven’t. The first airport secured for Norwegians 737 MAX flights is SWF (Stewart International). Located in New Windsor, NY, 60 miles north of Manhattan, Stewart is going to be one of two North Eastern airports to see 737 MAX flights to Western Europe.
Norwegian is in negotiations with a few other New England airports in attempts to secure a second slot for their new MAX jets. Two potential airports in discussion; Manchester, NH and Providence, RH.
$69 seems too cheap
I agree, $69 does seem incredibly cheap, almost too cheap. The reason Norwegian will be able to offer these introductory one-way rates to Europe is due to the lower operating cost of a single aisle jet. The 737 series jets only have a single aisle compared to Norwegian’s larger wide-body bird, the 787 Dreamliner. The operating cost of a dreamliner, fuel and maintenance, doesn’t merit shorter and less popular routes. That is where the 737 MAX fills the void and breaks below the $100 barrier.
Another way Norwegian can offer such low prices is due to their “don’t pay for what you don’t need” attitude. Like other budget carriers, Norwegian charges extra for checked luggage, seat reservations, food, etc. You can read a detailed review of my recent Norwegian flight from Copenhagen to Los Angeles. If you can avoid paying for extra luggage or pool your checked bags, you can score a really great deal to Europe!
When can I book?
Flights have not yet been made available from Stewart International as the 737 MAX jets are yet to be delivered. In case you missed it, Norwegian recently launched West Coast to Barcelona, Spain flights starting in the summer of 2017, and those are now available for booking. Starting at around $200 one-way, that is a smoking deal for a 10+ hour flight to Spain.
One last thing to keep in mind, return flights from Europe are usually a bit pricier. Depending on the country and airport you return from, departure fees can range from $50-$200. Those fees are built-in but they ultimately reflect in the overall cost of your return ticket. For example, there is a massive departure fee when leaving London Heathrow, that is why many budget carriers don’t fly from there. Spain, however, has very little fees for departing flights – as a whole.
Stay tuned for booking to open up on the new 737 MAX!