FlyAtlantic- The New, Long Haul, Low Cost Carrier in Town

Image from CNN

FlyAtlantic- The New Long Haul, Low Cost Carrier In Town

Norwegian Airlines. WOW Air. Tower Air. Air Premiera. The list goes on. For every successful long haul, low cost carrier thats’ successful, there are five more failed airlines. FlyAtlantic is hoping to break the cycle.

The Basics

FlyAtlantic, slated to start operations in early 2025, will reimagine transatlantic traveler. The Belfast based carrier will fly either 737 MAX or A321neo/LR aircraft on both sides of the Atlantic. In a sense, it’s like IcelandAir. The Icelandic airline is aimed at making seamless connections from Europe to North America and vice versa. FlyAtlantic is investing in making Belfast the next big hub. The Northern Ireland based carrier will offer a wide range of destinations in Europe, as well as the US and Canada.

Aircraft Selection

At the moment, FlyAtlantic is in talks with both Boeing and Airbus, about purchasing 737 MAX 9 or A321neo/LR aircraft, respectively. The planes must be able to reach “at least to Minneapolis” says CEO Andrew Pyne. Minneapolis is becoming a hotspot for Transatlantic travel, with airlines racing to meet the demand for more European flights. Currently, both Iberia and ITA are rumored to be considering launching flights to the Midwestern hub.

FlyAtlantic has told Simple Flying that it will not consider buying wide body aircraft, as while it does increase the range possibilities, the “fuel consumption and passenger load required to keep it profitable doesn’t benefit the traveler, airline, or the planet.”

Potential Destinations

FlyAtlantic hopes to serve a whopping 36 destinations within the first 5 years of its launch, including Paris, Milan, Mallorca, London, Oslo, Helsinki, Gran Canaria, Toronto, Ottawa, Minneapolis, Chicago, New York/Newark, Boston, and, interestingly, Portland, Maine. The airline has told CNN that they want to fly to underserved cities, with a high demand for travel to Europe. Take Portland. The city of 80,000 is home to Maine’s largest airport. In order to get to Europe from anywhere in Maine, it requires a connection to a larger airport, like Boston or New York/JFK.

FlyAtlantic thinks getting people across the Atlantic from closer to home will make travel less stressful and incentivize more travelers to stray a little farther from home.

Benefits Closer to Home

In addition to serving passengers from North America, FlyAtlantic hopes to fill the growing demand from Northern Irelanders to travel further. Currently, there are no flights outside of Europe from the country, and the nation of 2 million is “eager to travel.” The airline hopes to fill 1,000+ jobs in the country, and has already established a headquarters a stones throw away from Belfast Airport.

Closing Thoughts

This is a risky move, but potentially very lucrative. Like we’ve seen with other airlines aiming to do the same thing, it hasn’t gone too well. The pandemic further decimated the growing market for low cost, long haul carriers.

I’m curious: what do you think?


FlyAtlantic CEO Interview Video


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