Norwegian’s MAXs start service on the weekend, with aircraft flying to Stuart (NY) and Bradley (CT). The lack of flying to date, we understand, was not because of any technical issue or concern.
Two of the 110 MAXs the airline has on order were delivered June 29th. Currently the airline has nine MAX destinations planned and three of those are in the US. The extra range the MAX offers will be useful. Yesterday the airline’s flight to Rhode Island had to stop in KEF to refuel. Headwinds on the Atlantic negatively impact small aircraft.
Norwegian advises that bookings look great with several routes at 90%+ load factors. Forward bookings are also strong. From what we gather the two initial flights are Belfast to Stuart and Ediburgh to Bradley. Both are set for Saturday for the flight trackers and spotters. Official information is being kept tight for competitive reasons. Norwegian is clearly aware of the disruption they are bringing to the market.
With the MAX, the airline is going to cherry pick and the current airlines in the market are bound to feel the impact. Opening new routes with small aircraft might not look like a threat. But with 189 seats, these flights are going to take traffic away from the traditional routes. Now think about what 110 MAXs can do. Then there are the A321LRs to come. Could the “Southwest effect” coming to the trans Atlantic? Consider what happens if these flights are then connected to their seasonal service to the French Caribbean. This is going to be very interesting.