British Airways flights from London to New York have long been the main way for Brits to travel transatlantic.Whether travelling for business or pleasure, the business links between the two cities and the fact that both cities speak the same language means that British Airways has always been the most popular airline when routing from Europe to New York.
Not any more! Norwegian Air has surpassed British Airways as the top European airline in New York. It flies more passengers to and from New York than any other airline in Europe.
Of course, there is no comparison between the two airlines if you travel in Business or First Class. Norwegian does not offer Business or First Class for a start. On British Airways you can experience the height of luxury in their First Class cabin which we have reviewed, and lie-flat luxury in the BA Business Class cabin.
Lately, the British Airways Business class offering has looked dated when compared to American Airlines. This is largely because British Airways offers rather narrow lie flat seats without direct aisle access making American Airlines a better choice for flying transatlantic. But British Airways First and Business Class remain a luxury way to fly even without the latter offering aisle access.
Norwegian is a budget carrier with a high-density Economy cabin, and arguably a better Premium Economy than British Airways. I have compared the BA Premium Economy vs Norwegian Economy separately.
According to Reuters: Norwegian carried 1.67 million passengers to or from airports in the New York area in the 12 months to the end of July, compared with the 1.63 million carried by British Airways, data from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey showed.
No-frills carrier Norwegian has been rapidly expanding in the transatlantic market over the last five years, prompting the owner of British Airways, IAG (ICAG.L), to try to buy it earlier this year.
This may mean that British Airways will make more effort to compete with Norwegian on costs although I wish airlines wouldn’t all race to the bottom in their offering. I would pay more for slightly more seat pitch, complimentary food and drink and less of a sardine can environment. But then perhaps my flying preferences do not represent the general population.
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