Norwegian Air Shuttle is a Norwegian low-cost airline, with headquarters at Fornebu outside Oslo and its main base at Oslo Airport, Gardermoen. Norwegian Air Shuttle is also referred to as Norwegian, which is the company's commercial brand. It operates low-cost flights in Scandinavia and in Europe.
The airline operates a fleet of 25 Boeing 737-300 aircraft, 3 Boeing Boeing 737-800 aircraft and 8 McDonnell Douglas MD82s. The company has 51 Boeing 737-800 on order in addition to 3 Boeing 737-300 that will be delivered in 2008. Its operational centres are in Oslo and Bergen and its technical center is at Stavanger Airport, Sola.
The heritage of Norwegian is based on the airline Busy Bee, founded in 1967, and operating as Air Executive Norway in 1972-83. Busy Bee was the regional airline subsidiary of Braathens S.A.F.E, but closed due to bankruptcy in 1992, with Norwegian Air Shuttle being formed the following year to take over operations. Service was provided on the West Coast, between the airports of Haugesund, Kristiansund, Molde, Stavanger and Trondheim using Fokker 50 aircraft. At first three were taken over from Busy Bee, with additional three joining later.
The contract with Braathens expired in October 2003, when Braathens new owner SAS started using its fleet of Fokker 50 aircraft previously operated in northern Norway under the SAS Commuter Norlink brand, to fly on the routes on the west coast. But even before this the airline started some operations outside Braathens, including the previously Braathens contracted route from Stavanger to Newcastle, as well as the public service obligation from Bodø and Tromsø to Andøya, which they operated until 1 January 2003.
From 1 September 2002 the airline rebranded as Norwegian and started domestic flights as a low-cost carrier with six leased Boeing 737-300 aircraft, on the routes Oslo-Bergen, Oslo-Trondheim, Oslo-Tromsø and a week later on Oslo-Stavanger. For the first few months Norwegian wet leased three aircraft. The company was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange on 18 December 2004, with CEO Bjørn Kjos remaining the largest owner, with about a third. By 2005 the airline made a profit for the first time since 2002.
The airline has opened a second hub, at Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport in Poland, flying to Central European destinations. There are two Boeing 737 operating from Warsaw. Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA announced 24 April 2007 that they had bought 100% of the Swedish low cost airline FlyNordic; becoming the largest low-cost airline in Scandinavia. As part of the deal with the former owner, Finnair got a 5% stake in Norwegian.
On 23 August 2007 Norwegian announced that it would initiate scheduled operations from 18 February 2008 at the new Moss Airport, Rygge south of Oslo, with the military airport also opening for commercial traffic and located at about the same distance from Oslo as Gardermoen. Norwegian's initial 14 scheduled routes from Rygge are Alicante, Athens, Barcelona, Belgrade, Bergen, Budapest, Istanbul, London, Málaga, Marrakech, Palanga/Klaipeda, Szczecin, Valencia and Warsaw. Norwegian claims flights from Rygge will generally be cheaper than those from Gardermoen. In February 2008 Norwegian announced their first destination outside Europe, non-stop to Dubai from Oslo-Gardermoen and Stockholm-Arlanda.
The airline has code sharing agreements with FlyNordic (which it now owns) on the Oslo-Stockholm route, with Rossiya on the Oslo-Saint Petersburg route, and with Sterling on most of their shared routes (Oslo-Copenhagen, Oslo-Nice, Oslo-Prague and more).
Norwegian does not own its own handling services and only light maintenance is done by its own employees. Heavy maintenance (C/D checks) and engine maintenance are put out on tender. The airline is a member of European Low Fares Airline Association (ELFAA).
As of August 2008, the Norwegian Air Shuttle fleet consists of 8 MD-80 series, 27 Boeing 737-300 and 6 Boeing 737-800. All the 737-300 have 148 seats in one class and the 737-800 have 189. The MD80s have between 149-164 seats. All but two aircraft are leased.
The aircraft livery is white with a red nose. Some of the aircraft with the Norwegian.no-livery, have a picture of a notable Norwegian person on the tail. The aircraft with Norweigan.se-painting, does not have any picture of any notable Norwegians.
|Boeing 737-300||LN-KKA||Prev reg SX-BTO|
|LN-KKB||Has "Norwegian.no" written with a different font, than the rest of the fleet. The aircraft was earlier in a full-white scheme, without the classic "red-nose"-scheme of Norwegian.|
|LN-KKE||Prev reg G-ZAPM|
|LN-KKI||None (previously Helge Ingstad)|
|LN-KKJ||None (previously Sonja Henie)|
|LN-KKP||None (previously Kirsten Flagstad)|
|LN-KKV||None (previously Niels Henrik Abel)|
|LN-KKX||Logojet advertising for Network Norway|
|LN-KKZ||Logojet advertising for the insurance company Silver|
|LN-KHA||Prev. reg. SX-BGY (Aegan Airlines)|
|LN-KHB||Prev. reg. SX-BGW (Aegan Airlines)|
|LN-KHC||Prev. reg. SX-BGZ (Aegan Airlines)|
|Boeing 737-800||LN-NOB||Edvard Grieg|
|McDonnell Douglas MD-82||SE-RDR||ex. flyNordic|
|McDonnell Douglas MD-83||SE-RDV||ex. flyNordic|
On August 30, 2007, Norwegian ordered 42 new Boeing 737-800 aircraft with an option for 42 more, an order worth $3.1 billion. The planes will enter the fleet between 2008 and 2014, approximately 10 each year. The first Boeing 737-800 arrived at Oslo Airport, Gardermoen, Norway, on January 26th 2008. The first 737-800 was registered LN-NOB and has a tail picture of the Norwegian composer and pianist Edvard Grieg. Norwegian Air Shuttle ordered winglets on the new aircraft and it was said the aircraft would be stationed at Rygge Airport, though it is flying most of it's flight out of Oslo,Gardermoen.
On February 1, 2008, the airline's first Boeing 737-800 LN-NOB made its maiden flight from Oslo to Kraków.
New aircraft added 737-800 LN-NOD 11th June 2008 and LN-NOF due 25th June 2008. LN-NOC, which was the second 737-800 that was entering the fleet, was bought used from Air Europa.