In the summer of 2021, a new airline will take to the skies above Norway to challenge Norwegian, SAS, Widerøe and Wizz Air. Here's what we know so far about Flyr.
Thanks to the country's geography and the standard of living, many Norwegians are frequent flyers. Yet the global health crisis has seen many residents of Norway stop flying altogether for more than a year.
With this background, it may seem a very strange time to launch a new airline, but that's exactly what is happening.
From the brains of some of Norway's most prominent aviation executives, Flyr aims to take a bite out of the domestic air travel market. SAS, Norwegian, Widerøe and Wizz Air are the biggest competition.
It's a bold plan. Here's what we know about Flyr so far.
A no-frills, digital-first airline
To some, the airline sounds like a smartphone app. There's a reason for that! An app is a core part of the airline's strategy. All customer bookings and subsequent changes will be made using it. It's not yet clear how customer service will operate for people who have trouble with the app.
Founder Erik G. Braathen said the name “reflects the simplicity of the business and model and the product we will be offering the market.” According to Braathen, the company aims to make air travel as simple as possible: “Flying is what we do best, and that is the only thing we plan to be doing.”
In one of her first press releases at Flyr CEO, Tonje Wikstrøm Frislid took aim at her former employer Norwegian. She said they are “building an airline which is not dependent on getting more and more planes in the air to become profitable.”
The airline have also made it clear they will use Norway-based crew on Norwegian contracts. This seems to be a direct challenge to rival Wizz Air who have received a rocky reception since launching in Norway.
So a simple, digital-first offer it is. But where will Flyr fly to?
Flyr will launch with a small domestic network in Norway based at Oslo Airport. They will also run flights to selected European destinations.
Their debut flight will take off from Oslo Airport to Tromsø on 30 June. Other destinations are not yet known, but are highly likely to include the big cities such as Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger.
International destinations will focus on leisure destinations, with Nice, Malaga and Alicante announced so far.
Tickets are not yet on sale for any Flyr routes. However, the airlines says they hope to have them ready for sale one month in advance. Based on the date of the first scheduled flight, tickets should therefore be available by the end of May.
The Flyr fleet
In January, Flyr revealed that their fleet will consist entirely of Boeing 737-800 aircraft. The airline also revealed their smart green and white livery, pictured above.
Boeing 737-800 aircraft seat 162 passengers in a two-class layout or 189 passengers in an all-economy class layout. Given Flyr's no-frills approach, the second configuration seems most likely.
Regular Norwegian flyers are no stranger to this aircraft. Boeing 737-800 aircraft provided the backbone of Norwegian's extensive short-haul fleet for many years. Other European airlines including Ryanair also use the Boeing model.
“It's an aircraft that we in management have a lot of experience with. Also there is simulator capacity in Norway and crew and mechanics with ample experience and competence,” said Flyr founder Erik G. Braathen.