Thursday, September 08, 2011

Norway: Good times for trans-Atlantic flights

The stylish art deco style Chrysler building, New York City
As Europeans tighten their belts and prepare for tougher times, the Norwegian economy is booming. This means more money for leisure traveling, and many choose to go to the United States. Air carriers operating trans-Atlantic flights from Oslo maintain or even extend their service, as most flights are well booked.

Currently Continental and Scandinavian Airlines operate two non-stop trans-Atlantic flights from Oslo. Besides that many Norwegians, including myself, use Icelandair and Iceland Express for a convenient Atlantic crossing. Business has been so good in 2011 that airlines either maintain or expand their schedules.

Transatlantic success for both Scandinavian Airlines and Continental
Scandinavian air carrier over the Iberian peninsula
Until recently, Continental has been the only airline to offer direct flights from Oslo to Newark-Liberty Airport all year. US Airways had season flights to Philadelphia in 2010, but discontinued this service in 2011.

Scandinavian Airlines decided, March 2011, to start two daily flights to Newark Airport. Nobody believed that the crisis ridden airline would succeed where it failed in 2004. Results for the first two quarters have been good for Scandinavian Airlines. The demand for tickets to the US has been so high, that both competitors are doing well. So well, in fact, that Scandinavian even may extend the number of flights to Newark this coming season.

Iceland - an important hub for Scandinavians traveling to the US
Flying over Iceland in February 2007
I personally prefer flying over Iceland, when traveling to the US, Icelandair is another air carrier that lives well from travelers to the US. Besides me, so many do, that Icelandair has opened seasonal direct flights from Stavanger, Bergen, and Trondheim, as well as Oslo during summer, offering transfers to main American cities from Keflavik Airport. These will close in October, but Icelandair have announced that there will be flights from Bergen and Stavanger during Christmas and the New Year, bring all year flights from these airports closer to being a reality.

Lately, Iceland Express, has launched seasonal flights from Oslo to Keflavik with direct ongoing flights to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Iceland Express has recently decided to extend the season through October.

So all air carriers flying from Norway to the US are experiencing good times, and Norwegians have a greater choice than ever if we want to cross the Herring Pond. This is a win-win for all, but the question one must ask is whether these good times will last.

More stories on trans-Atlantic flights here on Enjoy Food & Travel 

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