Can Norwegian Air Shuttle — the discount trans-Atlantic airline preparing to start new service this spring between Europe and Los Angeles — succeed? This was a question I asked in a newspaper story published over the weekend.
Thomas Lawton, a visiting professor at Dartmouth’s business school, told me he is skeptical. A major part of the problem, he said, is the airline’s relatively small fleet of 787s. It should have seven by the end of this year. It plans to serve most U.S. destinations only once or twice per week.
“The challenge is that the Norwegians may be driven out of the market if they aren’t going to get the scale going,” Lawton said. “But if something like Ryanair came in, that would be a different proposition. If they were to do it, that would be a genuine challenge. At the moment, I am not convinced this Norwegian challenge is something that the Americans need to be worried about. But it might be the beginning of a new phenomenon.”
What do you think? Will Norwegian succeed with its flights from Los Angeles to Oslo, Copenhagen, Stockholm and London?