It could soon get a lot cheaper for people in the United States to cross the Atlantic. Norwegian Air is hoping to sell one-way tickets for flights to Europe for just $69 as early as 2017, CEO Bjørn Kjos said Tuesday, according to Reuters.
Kjos said the company hopes to keep costs low by flying out of United States airports with low fees. Norwegian air, Europe's third largest airline, is considering flights to Edinburgh, Scotland and Bergen, Norway. The flights would take off from airports that currently feature little to no international service, like New York's Westchester County Airport and Connecticut's Bradley International Airport, Kjos told Reuters.
While some one-way tickets are expected to go for just $69, the average round trip will be closer to about $300, Kjos said. Norwegian Air's fares are usually about $500 now because of higher fees levied at busier airports.
The potential move is part of an overarching plan from the airline to cut away at other airlines, such as Lufthansa, that typically dominate trans-Atlantic service. Instead of focusing on flights to major hubs and then offering connections to hundreds of destinations, Norwegian is hoping to focus on smaller cities, thus keeping costs low.
"I think you will see a lot to that effect within five years' time," Kjos said to Reuters. "What will happen to [Lufthansa] when everyone starts to fly direct?"
Norwegian Air is not the first airline to consider offering budget flights across the Atlantic. Iceland's Wow Air offered in March one-way tickets from Boston to Paris for about $99. Wow recently announced it planned to offer $75 tickets from Canada to Iceland and Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings also has plans for cheap trans-Atlantic flights.
Europe's largest budget airline, Ryanair, said in March it planned to offer cheap flights to Europe by 2020. The planned tickets would cost about $15. But the airline is a bit further away from being able to make trans-Atlantic plans a reality because it would have to invest in planes able to make the longer flights.
Ryanair was reportedly in talks with manufacturers over purchasing a long-haul fleet and hoped to offer the budget flights to Europe from 14 American cities.
"European consumers want lower cost travel to the U.S.A. and the same for Americans coming to Europe," said Robin Kiely, head of Ryanair communications, to CNN Money. "We see it as a logical development in the European market."
The $15-ticket is a bit misleading, however, because numerous charges would likely apply to passengers who used the no-frills carrier. Baggage fees, passenger taxes and other add-ons could push the cost up by hundreds of dollars.