Cruises Sell Tickets Years in Advance. Why Can't Airlines?
Norse Atlantic's president read my rants about placeholder schedules. But he's looking at extending schedules far into the future. If people want to pay, why not take the money?
While it’s enticing to call Norse Atlantic a reconstituted version of Norwegian Air’s long-haul arm, we must resist. Sure, the planes are the same, including the interior configuration, and the network mimics Norwegian's, but this is a new entity, the airline reminds us, with different ownership and a new outlook. Norse is only nine months old.
Loyal readers know I am skeptical of new entrants, particularly ones that restart with a model similar to a failed airline’s. People like deals, yes, but does the market need a 13th daily flight between London and Los Angeles? Or another winter option from Scandinavia into Florida?
I don’t know that it does. But this summer could be a record year for transatlantic demand, so if there’s any time to try, it is probably now.
I recently spoke to Norse’s new president, Charles Duncan, to learn how management seeks to avoid Norwegian’s fate. He shared Norse’s plan to sell tickets more than a year in advance, its unique deal with lessors, its plans for winter operations and its belief in the revenue economics of premium economy.
Here are the highlights of our conversation.