CHEAP SCOTTISH TRANS-ATLANTIC FLIGHTS – UPDATED
We first started hearing rumours about this a few years ago. We kept a watching brief but until now Faraway Fairways had been advising customers to explore flying through Iceland using the budget carrier ‘Wow Airlines’. That was until February 2017. At last Norwegian Airlines have announced that beginning form 15th June, 2017, they’ll be offering cheap Scottish trans-Atlantic flights to Edinburgh. How cheap is cheap though? Well very cheap is the answer
The headline price is £69 (approximately $88) for a one way ticket from a secondary airport in New York to Edinburgh. It would be a mistake to think that Norwegian are some cost-cutting, barn-stormers flying other carriers second hand aircraft. The carrier has been voted the Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline for two consecutive years at the renowned SkyTrax Awards, and the Europe’s Best Low-Cost Airline for four consecutive years. Norwegian is Europe’s third largest low-cost carrier, carrying 30 million yearly passengers to more than 140 global destinations. The transatlantic routes will be operated on brand new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
Bjorn Kjos, the chief executive of the low-cost carrier explained
“Our planes are very, very fuel efficient. We have a totally different set up to other airlines. The Boeing 737MAX has a very modern engine, which means it can go for a longer distance. We’ll also be flying to secondary airports in New York (not JFK). That means we don’t pay as much and can charge cheaper fares”.
Although, the airline has a UK base at Gatwick airport the new low-cost flights will only be available from Edinburgh for now. To be honest folks … it can’t get much better than this. Golfers who profess to dreaming of playing Scotland are really running out of excuses for not doing so, and especially when you consider the additional benefit of an historic low exchange rate since the UK voted to leave the European Union (Brexit).
At Faraway Fairways we’re increasingly inclined to think that the good old lament that people used to put up I’d really love to play Scotland one day, but it costs to much …. , is starting to sound a bit limp. There is going to reach a point before long where the answer has to be because deep down you don’t really want to. OK, that’s fair enough if that’s the case, but most golfers will tell you that its an ambition to do so, and if you’re the sort of person who recognises opportunity when it knocks and are prepared to act on it, then frankly its hammering the door down right now. And just to whet your appetite further, it’s not just Scotland, Norwegian are offering flights for £69 to Belfast too. Which as any golfer knows, means Royal County Down and Portrush
So where are the catches? Well so far as Faraway Fairways can establish, there are a few, but nothing too onerous, and nothing that any fair minded person should have any difficulty off-setting against the price
Otherwise, that appears to be it
- The flights leave New York from three US airports – Stewart International Airport, Providence Airport, and Bradley International Airport – all offering simple and affordable connections to New York, Boston and New England.
- Passengers will have to pay for extras such as check-in luggage and meals.
- The flights will be popular and sell-out, this might rankle with people who don’t secure them in time, and who might actually abstain in the knowledge that a cheaper option existed
- Is this a headline price for publicity? We don’t know, but so far as we can establish, the price is advertised faithfully, and isn’t limited to a handful of seats only
Even if you can’t secure a direct flight to Edinburgh you still have good value alternative options. Norwegian currently operates services twice a day from Gatwick to New York with prices starting from £125 for a single journey. It also offers direct services to Florida, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Last month, it launched flights to Las Vegas for less than £400 return
We are going to sound a cautionary note though. For those of you who remember the early 1980’s, this is a re-run of Freddie Laker’s ‘Skytrain’. The major flag carriers responded to Laker Airs price cuts by slashing their own fares and using other routes to subsidise the loss. For a few years we all enjoyed cheap trans-Atlantic air travel in a something of a mini golden age. Laker was the smaller operator however and couldn’t sustain the pressure. When Laker went bust, the Ancien regime wasted no time reintroducing their old fares! If we want cheap trans-Atlantic air fares please continue to support the likes of Norwegian, Wow, and Ryan Air and German Wings when they enter the market as expected
For separate details of the Icelandic option flying with Wow via Reykjavik click button below