Norwegian restart Sarajevo to Stockholm after nearly a year and half gap

Norwegian Air Shuttle resumes its international flight from Sarajevo to Stockholm after the time gap of nearly a year and a half. The Norwegian has relaunched the international flight between two capital cities of Bosnia and Sweden, as per Sarajevo International Airport. The airline commences two flights in a week on this sector, i.e., on Tuesday and Saturday.

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Norwegian Air
Photo from Norwegian Air

The Bosnian capital Sarajevo is a fascinating hotspot with a tram network.  It is one of the two autonomous entities which form Bosnia and Herzegovina, located in the Federation. The Sarajevo International Airport had the maximum number of passengers and flight operations in June 2019 in its history. Now the airlines have increased their flight frequencies from Sarajevo airport, and the airlines’ number has reached the level of that of June 2019, as stated by the airport. The Norwegian airline will be expanding its connectivity to 33 popular destinations of Europe from Stockholm and Gothenburg.

The comeback of Norwegian Air Shuttle on Summer

Norwegian Air is a low-cost carrier of Norway. Due to the pandemic, the airline had only operated few subsidized domestic flights in Norway and few token flights in Copenhagen and Stockholm routes. But once again, the carrier is back to its operating frequencies with more frequent flights at Stockholm Arlanda Airport and Gothenburg Landvetter Airport.

From May 31, 2021, the airline has operated its flight on domestic routes of Umea and Lunes from Stockholm and Oslo in Norway and Malaga in Spain. In June, it also started to offer two direct flights from Stockholm to different destinations. As the number of passengers traveling has increased gradually, the airline will extend its flight operations on the skies of Sweden throughout summer and spring. It will continue with its low-cost model, offering affordable fares for flying to Europe with more excellent customer service. It is making a comeback step by step to its profitable route network on European leisure markets.

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Photo from Norwegian Air
Photo from Norwegian Air

From June 2021, the destinations served from Stockholm airport are Copenhagen, Barcelona, Helsinki, Nice, Palma, Alicante, Faro, Athens, Chania, Berlin, Burgos, Sarajevo, London, Split, Dubrovnik. Along with them, Malaga and Alicante will be served through Gothenburg.

Since July, further route networks are added to be derived from Stockholm. They are Kiruna, Rome, Rhodes, Prague, Palermo, Budapest, Belgrade, Krakow, Vilnius, Larnaca. With this addition, the Swedes customers won’t require two flight connections and a whole day for visiting popular Mediterranean islands like the previous year.

After several turns and twists and a struggle to break even and remain financially balanced, the Scandinavian carrier, Norwegian Air, had finally been approved for its restructuring in Norway and Ireland. The narrow body fleet of 103 aircraft will be reduced to only 53. The Boeing 737 Max won’t make its place in the fleet. Nonetheless, the airline hopes to bring back the fleet of up to 70 aircraft by 2022 end.

In July, the flights from Stockholm- Arlanda will take off to 52 destinations.

Present scenario of airline

The Norwegian has seen a continued customer demand on June 2021. The advanced booking and demands have given rise to airline optimism as restrictions have been lifted up, and large markets have unlocked.  The increase in booking numbers clarifies its connection with ease of travel restrictions and gradual opening of the market. As compared to June 2020, the passenger traffic result leveled up by 102% in June 2021, with a total of 225509 passengers flying with Norwegian. Though the results of June traffic still show reduced flying schedules, ye the bookings have increased month after month. So, the number of key European destinations is connected by resumed flights. The company CEO Geir Karisen plans to adjust and improve the route connectivity along with rising customer demand. A total of 15 aircraft were utilized in June, with almost all the flights being regularly scheduled, and 94.1 % of the flights had on-time departures.

On June 28, 2021, The airline resumed its flight to Helsinki and Oulu airports. It is gradually adding more destinations in Finland according to the demand. The Norwegian is relaunching the flight to Oslo, Stockholm, Oulu, Malaga, and Alicante directly from Helsinki.

The aircraft and routes are gradually increasing in July. If the travel situation improves with time, Norwegian Air Shuttle is prepared to rule the Scandinavian air market yet again.

Introduction to Norwegian Air Shuttle

Norwegian Air Shuttle is the largest airline in Norway and the fourth-largest European low-cost carrier. It was founded on January 22, 1993, with its subsidiaries including Norwegian Air Sweden and Norwegian Air Norway.

The history of this airline takes several turning points with its beginning as a regional airline from 1993 to 2001. NAS announced to operate on the low-cost model on domestic schedule service in 2002. The airline saw the rapid expansion of its flight with the start of long-haul operations. In October 2012, London Gatwick was announced as a new base to offer international flights from London to Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, and Croatian leisure destinations with three Boeing 73-800s. Until 2017, Norwegian had already got its charter contract in the US. And announced to offer long-haul services in Asia.

Photo from Norwegian Air
Photo from Norwegian Air

In 2018, the airline moved to profitability strategy after its aggressive growth, and to do so, it adopted the restructuring measures, canceling Airbus A320 Neo, closing crew basses outside Norway.

Until Dec 2019, Norwegian operated domestic flights through Norwegian Air Argentina. The two subsidiaries Norwegian Air UK and Norwegian Long Haul, liquidated due to the COVID-19 pandemic in January 2021 since no long-haul operations could start.

Norwegian also operated European-based flights outside of the Scandinavian countries of Norway and Sweden, with its Ireland-based Norwegian Air International until April 2021.

As 2020 was the worst year in airline history with a severe impact on its finance and operation, the airline’s value dropped nearly 80% in 2020. Almost 85% of the flights were canceled, and many staffs were laid off, followed by the bankruptcy of several staffing subsidiaries.

Until March 2021, Norwegian presented its plan to postpone flight operations outside of Norway and drop the active fleet to 7 Boeing 737-800s, operating domestic flights within Norway. The plan was outlined as ‘New Norwegian.’ The aircraft and operations would be added as per the market demand. Norwegian received the governmental loan from the Norwegian state; it also got a rough credit guarantee for a long through the Swedish government. The demand has slowly started picking up in 2021. In Jan 2021, the airline flew to 104 destinations. Those flights were domestic, intra- Nordic, and European.

Specialties of Norwegian Air Shuttle

The new aircraft, friendly onboard services, and comparatively low fares without compromising on the airline standard are the special characteristics of Norwegian. Everything on Norwegian starts with the lowest possible fares. Then the fares will be added on depending on what the customers want. Using new aircraft, the fuel efficiency is ensured, which will result in low prices and low gas emissions in the environment.

Although being a budget carrier, Norwegian offers a loyalty program. The customers can earn cashpoint (Norwegian’s digital currency) every time they fly through Norwegian or incur their partners’ offers (such as staying at a hotel, driving a rental car, and others). The frequent flyers can enjoy the benefits of free seat selection, free check-in luggage, cashpoint boost, etc. the customer can earn more rewards through more flying.

As a part of onboard service, one can enjoy free Wi-Fi; the customers have the perk of being online mid-air the Norwegian aircraft.

Similarly, one can purchase snacks and light meals while on the flight. It can also be preordered.

Norwegian Air is set to connect a wide range of destinations in Norway, across the Nordics, and popular destinations of Europe.

More choice and more flexibility are offered to the customers to a cost and service level which is suited to the customer’s needs. In addition to flight services, Norwegian also offers airport transfers, hotel booking, and car rental at the destination.

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The airline’s safety precaution on Pandemic situation

To ensure safe air travel, Norwegian has adopted the following safety precautions:

1.       Touchless travel

The Norwegian Air Shuttle has introduced the system of touchless travel, in which the passengers can check them in through the online portal such as apps and websites and check their flight status.

2.       Enhanced cleaning procedures

To ensure extra protection to the passengers and crew, aircraft cleaning procedures have been enhanced with precautionary kits available all the time on all aircraft.

3.       Air filtration onboard

The latest air filtration technology has been installed on all Norwegian’s modern fleet, capturing airborne microbes (Bacteria and viruses).

The following information is essential for every passenger who is traveling through Norwegian Air to any of its destinations:

•        Entry and transit requirements to follow

•        Mandatory documentation such as health declaration form, COVID- negative tests, vaccination certificate, medical certificates, etc.

Awards and Certificates

In 2020, Norwegian was awarded the title of ‘Europe’s Leading Low-Cost Airline’ by World Travel Awards. It also received Freddie Awards in the category of Program of the Year, Best Promotion, Best Customer, and Best Affinity Credit Card.

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