New low-cost routes between Paris and the United States? That’s good news for francophiles and expatriates on both sides of the Atlantic.
According to La Tribune, Norwegian Air may be close to announcing a spate of direct lines between France and the U.S. this summer, specifically New York City, Los Angeles, and Fort Lauderdale. This is based on applications the company made for six weekly slots in the take-off and landing schedules between Orly and Los Angeles.
The applications could not be approved by late January, but the company hasn’t dropped the requests—in fact, not receiving new slots at Orly has been able to secure slots at Charles de Gualle airport for this summer. Those spots in the CDG schedule are ripe for a new direct route from L.A. to Paris, but the newspaper says that Bjørn Kos, Norwegian’s CEO, has yet to make a final decision.
A company spokesperson told La Tribune that the company has ordered 30 new Boeing 787s—aircraft designed almost exclusively for long-haul flights—but could not confirm any new transatlantic routes at press time. “We’re looking into all opportunities to open up new routes,” the spokesperson said.
The Oslo-based company has grown rapidly in Europe over the last five years. In 2015, the airline carried 26 million passengers, up 7% over 2014. Norwegian already offers flights between Paris and the three cities in the U.S. at competitive rates, but a low-cost option hasn’t existed since Iceland Air’s fares rose to market levels several years ago. Norwegian also opened routes between New York, Baltimore, and Boston to the French Antilles in December of last year.
Should the company enter the fray with a low-cost route directly from America to France, it could spark a price war with Air France and XL Airways, who both offer similar flight routes to and from France.