Founder of Norwegian invests in new transatlantic low-cost airline: Norse Atlantic Airways

Bjørn Kjos is investing NOK 24 million from his own pocket in a new airline

It has not even been half a year since investor Erik Braathen launched the plans for the new airline Flyr.

Well-known investors are now ready to invest in another airline – this time a long-haul one – and the child has been named Norse Atlantic Airways. The company was started with Bjørn Tore Larsen (53) at the helm as both main owner and general manager of the new airline.

In recent weeks, he and some colleagues have negotiated with international leasing companies to take over many of Norwegian’s former long-haul aircraft.

On the owner’s side, Larsen brings with him Norwegian founder Bjørn Kjos (74), who has invested NOK 24 million from his own pocket in the new company, which will soon raise a billion on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Kjos wants a collaboration between Norwegian and the new company.

We will definitely try to achieve that. The two companies have not had time to settle down with this, as Norwegian has been very busy with the reconstruction in Ireland, and Norse Atlantic with setting up long-distance. I believe that both companies can have great synergies. Several million passengers flew between long and short distances in Norwegian, and I hope that can continue“, says Kjos.

Norse Atlantic Airways will initially offer flights with the long-haul Boeing 787 Dreamliner between Europe and the USA. It is the same plane that Norwegian has had to get rid of through bankruptcy protection in Ireland and Norway this winter. The first 787 Dreamliner aircraft will take off in December this year, the company writes in a press release on Monday. It is open for collaboration with both Norwegian and Flyr.

The plan is to start with 12 planes: Nine have already been signed for in a letter of intent, and the airline negotiates three more.

The first destinations would be Oslo, London Gatwick and Paris CDG on the European side, New York, Miami and Los Angeles on the American side of the Atlantic.

OSM Aviation CEO and former SAS pilot Espen Høiby will become the chief operating officer of Norse Atlantic Airways.

Besides Bjørn Tore Larsen, Bjørn Kjos and his partner Bjørn H. Kise are among the largest shareholders. Bjørn Tore Larsen owns – through his company BT Larsen & Co. – 53 percent of the shares in Norse Atlantic Airways. In addition, he and associated companies own an additional ten percent of the shares. Bjørn Kjos and Bjørn H. Kise own 15 and 12 per cent of the shares, respectively.

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