The rapid expansion of Norwegian continues in 2018 with an increased schedule of flights to the United States from both Scotland and Ireland for the growing low-cost airline — as well as changes to its Norwegian Reward frequent flier loyalty program.
Changes to Norwegian Reward and Increased Flight Frequency to the United States
Priority Boarding After every sixth flight you take as a passenger of Norwegian, you can choose Priority Boarding, which will soon be one of the reward options available to you if you want to board the aircraft earlier than other passengers.
Accounts for Children Children will soon be allowed to have their own membership accounts in Reward Family, which was introduced last year to allow family members and friends to pool CashPoints into one common account and spend them together; and parents and guardians will be able to sign up for and manage the membership account of each child safely and easily — without each child being required to have a separate e-mail address.
Limited Edition Rewards 2018 You can earn two types of benefits to enjoy in 2019 from Limited Edition Rewards for 2018 — which was launched earlier this year — and are as follows:
- Upgrade to Premium Class — You must fly as a passenger on a minimum of either 20 single flights or 10 round trip flights booked as Flex tickets this year
- Free Ticket for a Long Haul Flight — You must fly as a passenger on a minimum of either40 single flights or 20 round trip flights and to earn at least 3,000 CashPoints in order to earn a free flight to a long haul destination which is served by Norwegian; but these do not need to be booked as Flex tickets
Cashpoints Reduced on Flex Tickets Effective as of Sunday, April 15, 2018, CashPoints members will earn 10 percent CashPoints from Flex tickets, which is half of the old rate of 20 percent — but you can still receive up to a maximum of 20 percent in total if you select five CashPoints Boosts from your Reward options.
More Flights to the United States
Effective as of Sunday, October 28, 2018 for its Winter 2018 flight schedule, Norwegian will:
- Maintain daily service between Edinburgh and New York, which will have been increased from three flights per week last year.
- Continue summer frequencies of flights between Dublin Airport and both New York Stewart International Airport and Providence into the winter season, with a double daily service and daily service respectively.
- Deliver daily service between Shannon Airport and New York Stewart International Airport this winter, which will have been increased from two flights per week last year.
The rapid expansion of Norwegian continues in 2018 with not only the increased frequencies of flights on the aforementioned existing routes; but also:
- Chicago, Austin and Buenos Aires announced as new destinations — as well as increased frequencies of flights to Boston, Los Angeles and Oakland
- Three new transatlantic routes to Milan and Madrid — serviced with brand-new Boeing 787-9 “Dreamliner” aircraft
- Direct transatlantic service from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York
The rapid expansion of Norwegian is not without controversy, as strong opposition to the growth of the airline back in 2016 was due to concerns pertaining to the low-cost carrier having an unfair advantage over airlines based in the United States — but that was before the concept of Basic Economy airfares was to be considered for international flights.
Additionally, investors are concerned that the airline is growing too rapidly. “The fast-growing group has become a disruptive force within the European airline industry over the past few years, leading the charge in bringing down the cost of long-haul flying and forcing rivals to respond with their own budget services”, according to this article written by Tanya Powley and Richard Milne for Financial Times. “The speed of its expansion is putting pressure on costs. Analysts point to a poor summer, with Norwegian reporting a 6 per cent rise in unit costs for the third quarter. That followed a dismal second-quarter cost performance, with an operating loss of NKr863m ($104m).”
Still, Norwegian is willing to take risks in tapping into a market which its management believes it can dominate and win: by offering lower airfares on transatlantic routes while simultaneously putting pricing pressure on competing airlines — and at this time, the passengers appear to be the winners as a result of this strategy.
Source: Norwegian Air Shuttle.