Norwegian, no longer #2, picks Providence

 

Budget carrier Norwegian Air has confirmed that Providence, Rhode Island, will be the second U.S. base for European flights with its soon-to-arrive 737 MAX jets. The other, previously announced, is Newburgh, New York's Stewart International.

Norwegian, which has just overtaken SAS as the largest Scandinavian carrier, will operate 'thin' trans-Atlantic routes to the smaller cities with the smaller planes; its other North American routes use 787s. The airline expects demand from the smaller cities to be profitable on routes to England, Scotland and Ireland. Scandinavian routes are also a possibility, but the range of the 737 means that a number of other routes can't be flown.

The 737s will begin arriving in June, and the routes will start operating soon after. The airline is planning to splash out fares as low as $69 in start-up promotions; while those will not be the permanent fares, the airline is noted for some of the lowest trans-Atlantic fares. Plus, of course, fees and taxes.

The other two cities that had been under consideration, Hartford and Portsmouth, NH, may also get routes if these are successful. Providence is in the general orbit of Boston, and reachable by train from New York. Stewart is operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs New York's big 3 airports; it's long been in planners' sights as a possible 4th major airport for New York.

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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