Cut-price airline plans flights between MSP and the UK

Norwegian Air is expanding its U.S. destinations.
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Norwegian Air is expanding its U.S. destinations.

What's happening?

Low-price, no-frills airline Norwegian Air is planning to expand its UK-based fleet.

Norwegian Air CEO Bjørn Kjos told Flight Global his airline intends to base a number of Airbus A321LRs in the UK, with the intention of serving a number of East Coast and Midwest cities.

Among them? Minneapolis-St. Paul International, which Kjos hopes will be an outlet to Norwegian destinations beginning in 2019.

The company told FlightGlobal that the delivery of its 4,000-nautical-mile ranged Airbus A321LRs in 2019 would allow it to open new routes between the European continent that are not in the range of its current mid-sized aircraft, the Boeing 737-Max 8.

"You will see more A321LR routes coming in to medium-size airports in the USA, connecting to different capitals in Europe," he said.

Norwegian Air? Never heard of them?

They've been around for more than two decades, primarily serving European destinations, but started running cut-price, long-haul flights five years ago.

It grabbed headlines more recently by starting to offer flights from Europe to U.S. cities including New York starting at $65 one-way, as reported by USA Today.

It keeps its ticket prices low through a combination of more efficient aircraft and by charging for extras, including in-flight meals, drinks and checked baggage. You can still bring a carry-on free of charge, however.

What this means for MSP

Currently only two airlines fly direct to Europe from MSP International, with Delta offering routes to London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol and Paris-Charles De Gaulle. 

Budget airline Icelandair also flies direct to Reykjavik out of Terminal 2, offering connecting flights to other European destinations from there.

Norwegian Air's prices fluctuate like any airline, costing more to fly during times of peak demand.

Nonetheless its introduction to the market would provide more choice for Twin Cities transatlantic travelers, and likely a cheaper one as well.

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