Transatlantic fare war could come to Canada if LCC Norwegian gets its way

Transatlantic fare war could come to Canada if LCC Norwegian Air gets its way

TORONTO — After taking enough market share on U.S. transatlantic routes that legacy carriers including Delta and American brought in bare-bones basic economy fares to Europe, low-cost carrier Norwegian Air is confirming a possible July 2018 launch out of Canada. The news comes just as Primera Air gets ready to send introductory $199 one-way fares into the market on its Toronto-London (Stansted) route, on sale March 22 for flights this summer.

After reports last week that Norwegian was eyeing the Canadian market, Norwegian has confirmed that it is looking to offer transatlantic flights from gateways here, according to reports from the CBC and other consumer media outlets.

The low-cost carrier has already filed with the Canadian Transportation Agency, with an eye to possibly starting transatlantic flights out of Canada starting this summer.

According to reports, Norwegian’s filing with the CTA means it could be up and running with flights out of Canada by July 23.

Norwegian has more than 500 routes servicing a network of 150+ destinations.

Meanwhile Primera Air will launch its 2018 season of Toronto – London (Stansted) flights with $199 one-way fares available starting on March 22. The fares “are expected to sell-out within minutes,” says Primera.

In February 2018 Primera Air said it plans to increase flight frequency on its Toronto – London (Stansted) route starting Aug. 22 with five weekly flights, up from three.

The Toronto-London (Stansted) flights begin May 19 with three times weekly service, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Starting Aug. 22 the frequency will go up to five flights weekly, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Low-cost carrier WOW air also flies out of Canada and WOW air CEO Skúli Mogensen has said he’s bullish on this market. The upstart LCC began service from Montreal and Toronto in 2016.

Carriers including Air Canada and WestJet are already bracing for LCC and ULCC competition this summer on the domestic front, including WestJet’s own Swoop, and have added basic economy fares to and from select gateways.