Norwegian long-haul startup airline Norse Atlantic Airways has big plans afoot in terms of its operational sustainability. Set to commence operations next year, the carrier is aiming to be a world leader when it comes to carbon emissions per passenger-kilometer.
A benchmark for low emissions
Norse Atlantic is a startup airline based in Arendal, Norway. The carrier hopes to succeed where Norwegian Air failed, by making low-cost long-haul work. The transatlantic corridor will be a key market for the airline. Indeed, its first three routes from Oslo will serve US destinations, namely Fort Lauderdale, New York (Stewart), and Los Angeles (Ontario).
Flying a young fleet of three Boeing 787-8s and 12 787-9s, according to ATDB.aero, Norse Atlantic plans to become a world leader in terms of carbon emissions. Speaking on a panel last week at the World Aviation Festival in London, Norse Atlantic’s Chief Commercial Officer, Andrew Hodges, explained the reasoning behind this aspiration. He stated that:
“The Dreamliner is a fantastic aircraft. And actually, given the configuration and the seating density that we would be operating, I think we will be the world’s lowest carbon emitting airline per passenger-kilometer. And that also reflects in the lowest unit costs that we’ll be able to operate.”
Higher-density than other operators
By filling its Boeing 787s with more seats than other Dreamliner operators, Norse Atlantic will benefit statistically from lower emissions per passenger and, therefore, per passenger-kilometer. Examining the configurational differences between airlines, Hodges adds that:
“If you compare the seating density of our Dreamliner aircraft, with 338 seats, compared with 220 or 230 perhaps for a legacy operator with the same aircraft. That statistical reduction will significantly lower unit costs.”
Of course, Norse Atlantic will only be able to truly benefit from this per-seat reduction if it is able to fill its aircraft. Whether it will succeed remains to be seen. The high-density layout will likely mean that premium offerings are at a minimum. However, as the world begins to open up, it may find enough demand from the low-cost market to make it work.
Taking to the skies next Spring
As it happens, it may not be too long before we get to see whether Norse Atlantic’s low-cost long-haul gamble will pay off. Indeed, Hodges explained that the airline is targeting Spring 2022 for the commencement of its operations. He added further that: