Norwegian Air ramps up fare war with four new routes

The low-cost carrier has added 25 new US routes this year. (Reuters)
Updated 14 December 2017
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Norwegian Air ramps up fare war with four new routes

NEW YORK: Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA will start flying four new routes between the US and Europe, the budget carrier said on Thursday, rapidly expanding its low-cost trans-Atlantic flights and increasing pressure on established carriers.
Starting next summer, Norwegian will operate flights to Amsterdam, Madrid and Milan from New York’s John F. Kennedy International and Los Angeles International airports.
These add up to 25 new US routes for Norwegian this year alone, and 11 more are already planned for 2018.
Norwegian’s rapid growth in the US market since being granted flying rights by the outgoing Obama administration in 2016 has rankled legacy carriers. They complain that it undermines wages and degrades working standards, but Norwegian has dismissed those claims.
Established US and European airlines have been forced to reassess the way they court customers as budget airlines offer cheap tickets for relatively comfortable flights on newer, sleeker jets.
Among US airlines in particular, the fight for both low and big budget travelers faces added challenges. A pricing squeeze from low-cost carriers such as Norwegian has pushed down fares, while higher-end airlines such as Emirates have raised customer expectations for comfort.
Including taxes, introductory fares for nonstop Norwegian flights to both Madrid and Milan from Los Angeles start at $229 for a one-way, main cabin seat. Nonstop flights to Amsterdam and Madrid start at $199 and $229 one-way from New York.
Summer fares listed on Google Flights on these routes are more than 10 times as expensive on other carriers.
On the Los Angeles-Milan route, no other nonstop flights from other airlines are listed during that time, and Norwegian will be the only airline operating year-round nonstop flights from Los Angeles to Madrid and Milan.


Shell, Exxon not to seek compensation for end of Dutch gas field production

Updated 19 min 15 sec ago
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Shell, Exxon not to seek compensation for end of Dutch gas field production

AMSTERDAM: Energy companies Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil will not submit a claim for missed revenue due to the Dutch government's decision to halt gas production at the Groningen field by 2030, the Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs said on Monday.
"A lot of gas will be left in the ground," Economy minister Eric Wiebes said at the presentation of his deal with the oil majors responsible for extracting Groningen gas.
"That gas is the property of the oil companies, but they will not submit a claim and the government is not required to compensate them."
The Dutch government in March said it would end gas production at the Groningen field by the end of the next decade, in an effort to stop a string of relatively small, but damaging earthquakes caused by gas extraction.
This will leave around 450 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas in the ground, Wiebes said, with an estimated value of approximately €70 billion ($81.5 billion).
The decision to halt Groningen production forced the government to broker a new deal with Shell and Exxon Mobil, whose 50-50 joint venture NAM is responsible for the field.
NAM will be required to pump as much gas as the government says is needed in the coming years. In return, it will see its share of the revenue from Groningen rise from 10 to 27 percent, Wiebes said, starting this year.
As part of the deal, NAM will also contribute a total of €500 million to strengthen the economy in the Groningen region.