London to Miami flights launch for under £120

You will be able to travel from London to Miami for under £120 next year, as the battle for low-cost long-haul flights continues.

The new fare, announced by WOW Air this week, is the latest in a long line of ultra-budget routes offered by the airline. Indeed, the Icelandic cmopany now connects eight North American destinations. Like its other routes, though, the low price comes with a hidden cost: passengers will have to stop over in Reykjavik for several hours.

The £119, meanwhile, only applies to the outbound leg of a journey: if you want to return, you will potentially have to pay a higher sum. There are also hefty fees for large luggage. But for those happy to make the necessary concessions, April 2017 will reward them with a year-round service that flies three times a week, putting greater pressure upon the traditional long-haul giants such as British Airways to provide more affordable fares.

 

Low-cost US flights from Ireland edge closer

22nd April 2016

Low-cost US flights from Ireland are edging closer, following provisional approval for Norwegian Air to expand its international operations.

Budget flights are commonplace within Europe for short-haul holiday flights, but for those planning to hop across the Atlantic, air fares are significantly more expensive. The launch of low-cost long-haul flights, therefore, is something many passengers have welcomed.

Three years ago, Norwegian Air International began operating such rates and now offers 33 routes in total. Last week, the US Department of Transportation announced that it was planning to grant a foreign air carrier permit to the company, allowing Norwegian Air International to open a new Irish unit focusing on American connections.

The plans would see the airline launch a wave of new routes, including the first ever service between Boston and Cork in Ireland, as well as stepping up the competition for travellers looking for affordable Transatlantic travel.

The proposed approval, though, has given opponents three weeks to file objections – and opponents have certainly been taking advantage of the window.

Opponents have claimed that the approval would undermine wages, lower working standards and put American jobs at risk.

The Norwegian Group have since rebutted the claims.

“A final approval, based on the Open Skies Agreement between the U.S. and EU, will be win-win for consumers and the economy on both sides of the Atlantic,” CEO Bjorn Kjos told Reuters. “It will allow Norwegian to expand our US operations. Our continued presence in the US will create thousands of jobs and generate tens of millions of dollars of economic activity for the Group’s US destinations.”

“Opponents have raised false allegations that NAI uses low-paid Asian crew,” added the airline in a statement. “In fact, NAI does not have a single Asian-based crewmember or pilot, and Norwegian has continuously publically stated (and committed in writing to the U.S. DOT) that U.S. and EU-based crew will be used on NAI transatlantic services.”

Some have claimed that Norwegian’s added flights would exceed customer demand, therefore lowering fares to Europe. Norwegian, though, insists that the company is helping to attract new people to travel by opening up the routes to those who could not afford it before.

“The launch of low-cost long-haul services in 2013 was because Norwegian believed that greater competition on international flights was long overdue,” commented the airline. “Three years later, Norwegian now offers 33 transatlantic routes, often in direct competition with other major airlines. Despite this, opponents to Norwegian’s expansion in the US have absurdly tried to argue that this poses a threat to competition. This is clearly untrue; the only threat Norwegian poses is to the near-monopoly that has for many decades existed in transatlantic travel, and protected by joint ventures and alliances. A final approval for NAI will simply underline exactly what the EU-US Open Skies agreement was designed for – to create more competition among airlines, leading to greater choice and lower fares for passengers.”

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