Norwegian pulls out of Oakland, consolidates in San Francisco

Dec 17, 2019

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Norwegian Air is making San Francisco International Airport its full-time home in the Bay Area, ending its scheduled service from Oakland.

The low-cost carrier has been a major disruptor in the U.S. transatlantic market, but has struggled to remain profitable. The airline said that consolidating its flights at a single Bay Area airport will help make its operations more efficient.

“For the summer season 2020 and beyond, we will offer all our five Bay Area flights from San Francisco International Airport (SFO), which will better position us for our return to profitability”, Matthew Wood, Norwegian’s senior vice president, commercial, said in a statement. “As the largest foreign airline in the Bay Area, we look forward to offering American travelers unbeatable fares matched with our award-winning onboard product and service out of SFO”.

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Norwegian started operating out of Oakland (OAK) in 2014, but its flights to London, Barcelona and Paris moved to SFO earlier this year. Twice-weekly summer service to Oslo will begin from San Francisco on March 30 while thrice-weekly summer service to Rome will begin from San Francisco on April 1.

All of Norwegian’s flights from SFO will be operated by Boeing 787-9s.

Related: A tighter squeeze, but still a great ride: Norwegian (787-9) Premium London-Buenos Aires

For Oakland, the loss of the service is a setback in the airport’s effort to establish itself as an international gateway in the Bay Area.

San Francisco, of course, is the region’s primary international gateway. United operates a hub there and the airport is served by a long list of international carriers offering overseas routes to destinations in Asia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific. The metro area’s third major airport in San Jose also has had success in landing several high profile international routes, including to London Heathrow on British Airways and to Tokyo on All Nippon Airways.

Oakland is now left without nonstop service to mainland Europe, though Azores Airlines has operated a seasonal route to the North Atlantic territory from the airport.

Featured photo by Alec Wilson/Flickr.

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