Norse Atlantic Airways has pushed back the date of its first flights to the first quarter of 2022, the new carrier said today, due to ongoing travel restrictions covering transatlantic routes.
The airline, which launched earlier this year, said that it thought all 15 of its planes would be in service by summer 2022.
Although the UK has relaxed entry requirements for fully vaccinated people from the US, President Joe Biden is yet to reciprocate.
Norse Atlantic is one of several airlines attempting to fill the gap left by Norwegian, which was forced to cut its long-haul services completely to make it through the pandemic.
Founder Bjørn Kjos was himself the chief executive of Norwegian, until he left the carrier two years ago.
And with Norse Atlantic, it seems that he is trying to repeat the rapid success that saw the other carrier briefly become the biggest non-US airline serving the New York area.
However, the expansion came at the cost of vast debt, which weighed down Norwegian and eventually led to its entering restructuring proceedings during the pandemic.
Speaking today, chief executive Bjørn Tore Larsen said: “We strongly believe that there is a need for a new and innovative airline serving the low-cost intercontinental market with modern, more environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient aircraft as the world gradually reopens.
“Our plans are on track and operations will commence when travel restrictions are lifted and demand for transatlantic travel is back.
“Based on the current situation, we anticipate that all our 15 Dreamliners will be flying
customers between Europe and the US next summer.”
The carrier is yet to reveal its routes, but did today unveil its livery.
Earlier today, Jetblue – another carrier looking to fill the Norwegian-sized gap in the transatlantic market – said it would go ahead with its first New York to London flights on Thursday despite the restrictions.
The BBC reported that tickets for its first flights started at $941 (£679) one-way, only marginally cheaper than those for British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, which are charging $980 for the same period.