Three weekly flights to LAX with the 787-9 Dreamliner from Berlin/Brandenburg.
After a five-year break, there is a connection from Berlin to Los Angeles again today. The Norwegian start-up airline “Norse Atlantic Airways”, which is only a few months old, is now offering three weekly non-stop flights from Berlin to Los Angeles. The joy about this is clearly noticeable today in Berlin.
"Berlin is once again being connected to its oldest partner city" (since 1967 - editor's note) said Berlin's Economics Senator Stephan Schwarz on the occasion of the first flight and also never tires of emphasizing that the connection with the US state of California, the local Economy as well as the "IT hub" - Silicon Valley means an immense gain for the local economy. Schwarz is also pleased that Norse specifically “wants to appeal to younger passengers and visitors to Berlin”.
A goal which is also confirmed by Norse on site. With the direct flight between "BER and LAX", Norse also saves annoying transfers and waiting - and Norse Chief Operation Officer (COO) Thom-Arne Norheim attaches great importance to this - "of course the risk of losing a suitcase on a non-stop flight also decreases from A to B without changing”, a circumstance that should not be ignored, especially this summer. When he is asked about his previous experiences with Berlin, he gets really enthusiastic. "We are happy to be here, but we are even more happy about this great reception," he says, beaming.
"Berlin is not only Germany's capital, but one of the most important capitals in Europe," Norheim continues. "We are also not a Norwegian airline in the classic sense, WE are international and that is also reflected on board our aircraft." According to Norse, they currently employ cabin crews from 8 different countries, who are based at the stations in Oslo, London-Gatwick , Fort Lauderdale and New York-JFK are stationed, while the pilots are currently all based in Oslo.
On the route from Berlin to Los Angeles, which started today, a crew from London-Gatwick will initially be deployed, as there is currently neither a base at BER nor in LAX. In a tour lasting several days, the crew will first fly from London to Oslo, from there on to Los Angeles and then in the direction of Berlin before, after a necessary stay on site, the flight home to LGW from Berlin will take place as a passenger mind you.
There were 261 bookings for today's first flight, and the Boeing 338-787 Dreamliner, which Norse himself calls the "Longship", has room for 9 paying guests. Of these, 56 guests can be accommodated in the premium cabin and 282 more guests in the economy class. "The feedback we have received from our guests since the start of the operation is great, our first real full month of July was also a complete success," said Norheim. In the first 8 weeks, the line's aircraft were used to over 80% capacity, a number that was almost reached on today's maiden flight, similar to the maiden flight to New York 48 hours earlier.
The 787-9 Dreamliner taking off in the evening with the destination New York-JFK again had around 250 passengers booked, as did the flight to New York on Thursday. Quite gratifying for the start of the connections, which had been announced as a complete surprise just a few weeks earlier.
Thanks to the fortunate circumstance of a 25-minute early landing from New York and the slightly delayed start of the first flight to the US west coast, those present had the opportunity to experience two Norse 787 Dreamliners in action at BER at the same time. Another premiere and, as is often the case in aviation, a spontaneous and unplanned circumstance, which, however, put a big grin on Norse COO Norheim's face.
After the airport fire brigade of BER said goodbye to the first flight with sirens and standing in a trellis, flight "N0 611" took off from runway 14L at 29:25 p.m. into the cloudy sky over Berlin and disappeared on the horizon with a slight left turn. After a flight distance of around 9400km and with an expected short flight time of only 10 hours and 40 minutes for the first flight, the 787 should reach the US west coast on Friday at 16:35 p.m. local time (01:35 a.m. German time on Saturday).