British Airways has been beaten into second place as Norwegian Air Shuttle rises to become the largest non-US airline on transatlantic routes to and from the New York area.
Norwegian carried 1.67 million international passengers to and from three New York City airports, beating BA’s 1.63 million, according to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
The PANYNJ passenger numbers were for the year to the end of July and included traffic at Kennedy, Newark, LaGuardia, Stewart and Teterboro airports.
Norwegian chief executive Bjørn Kjos said the Port Authority passenger numbers endorse “the strong demand for lower fares on lucrative transatlantic routes as we flew more customers to and from New York than any other international airline.”
“Fares have been too high for too long as transatlantic routes have been long dominated by carriers with outdated legacies running on fumes,” Kjos added.
Norwegian said that in addition to overtaking British Airways it had also beaten Lufthansa and Emirates to reach the top spot.
Norwegian currently operates 16 routes from JFK, Newark Liberty and Stewart International airports to: Amsterdam, Barcelona, Belfast, Bergen, Copenhagen, Dublin, Edinburgh, Guadeloupe, London, Madrid, Martinique, Oslo, Paris, Rome, Shannon and Stockholm.
The airline has recently announced the cancellation of some of those routes however, such as all three Edinburgh services and Belfast’s single flight as they move capacity to higher density, lower cost routes.
The overall top three for international routes were United with 8.1 million, Delta with 5.6 million and JetBlue on 3.8 million passengers over the last year.