New airline gets ready to fly in South Florida ahead of busy travel season

A low cost carrier that soon will be the only airline to fly direct to Europe from Fort-Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport ahead of the busiest travel season of the year.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A low cost carrier will soon be the only airline to fly directly to Europe from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport ahead of the busiest travel season of the year.

“We have already seen that we have massive interests from America and Europe to fly between Norway and Fort Lauderdale. We have a lot of bookings on both routes,” Norse Atlantic Airways CEO Bjorn Larsen said.

Norse Atlantic Airways, the start-up company, is entering the market on the heels of a busy summer travel season where demand is expected to outweigh capacity in terms of available seats across the airline industry. Experts say that can cause problems.

According to the travel detective, Peter Greenburg, there’s a shortage of air traffic controllers.

“The whole system is short staffed and they’re gonna have to work thorough that and much more challenging now is we’re heading into the summer,” Greenburg said.

That issue mixed in with bad weather and various space launches by NASA has the routes planes fly severely reduced, and that’s led to mass cancellations, causing more frustrated flyers than in the past.

After meeting this week with top airline executives, the FAA says it will, “Increase the ability for airlines to keep aircraft moving during these events by using alternate routes and altitudes when possible, increase the number of authorized staff at Jacksonville Center and evaluate other Florida facilities.”

“The airspace that they’re adding is at lower altitudes, which means they burn more fuel so your trip will take longer,” Greenburg said.

Norse is welcoming the challenge with open arms.

“In case of disruptions, we will of course take care of customers and we are equipped as anybody else to do that, and actually maybe a bit more than most long haul airlines because we have an abundance of aircraft right now, ”Larsen said.

The FAA is looking to hire good, dedicated air traffic controllers to curb this shortage problem, but experts say you can reduce the possibility of delays if you catch the first flight out on any given day.

Norse Atlantic Airways will begin operating at FLL, and flights to and from Norway will begin next month. They plan to expand to places like Paris and London in the future.


About the Author:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.