British Airways Ousted as Top European Airline in New York
Norwegian Air has surpassed British Airways as the top European airline in New York. That means the Norwegian Air, in a moral victory for the budget airline, flies more passengers to and from New York than any other airline in Europe. The airline has been making a play for the U.S. market the last few years. That’s a pretty substantial title for the budget carrier to hold, and it shows a trend that troubles large carriers who often complain about the unfairness of budget carriers and the difficulty in competing with their low fares.
According to Reuters:
Norwegian carried 1.67 million passengers to or from airports in the New York area in the 12 months to the end of July, compared with the 1.63 million carried by British Airways, data from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey showed.
No-frills carrier Norwegian has been rapidly expanding in the transatlantic market over the last five years, prompting the owner of British Airways, IAG (ICAG.L), to try to buy it earlier this year.
So what exactly does this mean? Should anything be read into this? Well, while the title doesn’t necessarily mean anything, it demonstrates how many people are willing to fly that route with a no-frills airline. It also may demonstrate that airlines like British Airways will continue to look for ways to lower costs. They have already launched a budget airline, Level, in an attempt for a more competitive market. They have not started flights on that budget airline from New York to London, but it does show that British is well aware of the demand for cheaper prices (which unfortunately often come with no frills).
American companies have made their displeasure with Norwegian well know, in particular complaining about facets of the company, including how they have skirted labor laws in the U.S. and Europe. The airline has made it possible for Americans to travel to Europe for as low as $300 roundtrip, although that ticket won’t come with much besides the seat on the flight. We’ll continue to see more of the war between these two airlines I’m sure, particularly now that the budget carrier has taken the top spot for European airlines carrying passengers to and from New York.