But another company which might be giving other airlines’ managers sleepless nights must be Norwegian Airlines which is bringing its ultra-low cost – and therefore highly disruptive – business model to the long-haul market.
Most observers associate budget airlines with short haul flights only, but Norwegian is now showing that it can be applied to long haul as well, even as far as Singapore which, with a thirteen hour flying time, is as far as you’d probably want to go given that the legroom in it’s economy class is just 79 centimetres.
But as the old saying goes, ‘you pay your money and you take your choice’. And in Norwegian’s case, you only pay from as little as £149.90 one way. Even for a budget airline, that is a ridiculously low price. Naturally, the actual price you pay may be more as you pay extra for luggage, onboard meals and drinks, etc. But those sorts of prices now moves Singapore out of people’s holiday ‘bucket list’ into the list marked ‘why not go there?’
And not just previously exotic places like Singapore, because the airline expects to start up a new service to Argentina fairly soon too. Due to start in February next year, fares for the 6,900 mile flight from Gatwick to Buenos Aires are tipped to be under £600 return.
The Airline’s CEO, Bjorn Kjos, was recently quoted as saying, “You have to like competition, otherwise you shouldn’t be in this game”. We bet that’s not what the other airlines’ CEOs are saying.