Norwegian Experiencing Problems on Hi Fly, Wamos and EuroAtlantic Wet Leases

by David

Norwegian Air Shuttle passengers on certain routes should be aware of potential cancellations and delays in light of difficulties with replacing aircraft undergoing repair.

Two weeks ago Point Me To The Plane warned about the outsourcing of the below Norwegian routes to other European carriers, and what that would mean for travelers expecting to fly state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

Norwegian has been leasing aircraft from several charter airlines to continue operating routes scheduled on Dreamliners which have been taken out of service to undergo engine repairs.

According to FlightAware data, a rash of Norwegian cancellations and delays, mainly associated with these wet leased routes, have plagued Norwegian passengers this month.

EuroAtlantic Airways

EuroAtlantic operated Norwegian flights between Paris Orly Airport (ORY) and Newark Liberty Airport (EWR) have suffered seven cancellations and two delays over an hour in the past 12 days.

Hi Fly

Hi Fly, a Portuguese charter company Norwegian is relying upon most heavily, is also experiencing operational issues on Norwegian-leased routes between North American and European city pairs. Passengers ticketed on any Hi Fly operated Norwegian flights through late July should take note of recent flight data for potential future disruptions.

About one-third of Flights Between Barcelona (BCN) and Newark have been delayed over an hour in both directions in the past two weeks.

Two-thirds of eastbound flights between Barcelona and Oakland International (OAK) have been delayed more than an hour.

Between Paris Charles De Gaulle (CDG) and New York Kennedy (JFK), passengers have only experienced delays eastbound from JFK. About half of Europe-bound flights in the past 10 days have been delayed more than an hour.

Between CDG and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), there have been one cancellation and two lengthy delays westbound to LAX and three delays of multiple hours eastbound toward CDG in the past couple weeks.

Wamos Air

Wamos’ operated Norwegian flight between London Gatwick (LGW) and JFK has experienced an hour or more delay every segment outbound from JFK over the past 11 days. A handful of flights inbound from LGW have been delayed as well.

Privilege Style

Privilege Style’s single operated Norwegian routing is between Rome (FCO) and EWR. Fliers on this routing have experienced the least amount of disruptions with all flights inbound from FCO having departed on time and only a pair of delays outbound from EWR over the past couple weeks

What You Can Do

Passengers ticketed on Norwegian between North America and Europe in the near future should set expectations regarding cabin comfort and flight disruptions, given Norwegian’s outsourcing of operations for multiple routes. Check flights in advance, and call the airline as soon as you have a chance.

Certain travel credit cards, including Chase Sapphire Preferred and Reserve cards, many Chase Ink business cards, Citi Prestige cards and most American Express cards, come with automatic travel insurance that may help cover expensive last-minute rebookings on alternate airlines in the event of cancellations or trip-compromising delays.

Backup options are warranted for flyers on EuroAtlantic’s operated flight given the numerous recent cancelations. Passengers ticketed on­ Hi Fly operated flights should also brace for delays.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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Semicurious October 8, 2018 - 11:27 am

Would you happen to know if OAK-FCO (Rome) is also outsourced by Norwegian to some other airlines?

David October 8, 2018 - 9:50 pm

Although about half of the previously written about wet leased routes are still operating via carriers other than Norwegian long past their expected end dates, the OAK-FCO route has remained unaffected. One way to double check is to begin the booking process on Norwegian’s website. Once flights and fares are selected, within the “My Travel Selections” on the right-hand side of the page will be “Operated by…” language. In the case of OAK-FCO, the flight is “Operated by Norwegian Shuttle” as opposed to, for example, Waymos Air on one of the routes between LGW and JFK.

Catherine Salmon November 4, 2018 - 4:23 pm

Do you know what the situation is for the flights btw LAX and Paris? I was considering booking a flight for early in the new year but admit the article has me considering a different airline.

David November 13, 2018 - 9:09 am

For the route between LAX and CDG, Norwegian had reverted back to wet leased flights for about half of the October daily flights after flying exclusively their own 787 Dreamliners in August and September based on Flight Aware data. The October wet leased flights were flown on Airbus A330s (most likely Hi Fly), and endured more frequent and longer delays than flights on Norwegian’s Dreamliners. No November flights thus far appear to have been wet leased. Most likely you’ll be fine for an early 2019 flight, but YMMV.

Samsteroni December 27, 2018 - 1:03 pm

Considering I’m flying on Norwegian in late Oct 2019 (DEN –> LGW –> CPH, this feels silly to ask. But, should I hold tight to my cost friendly reservation? Or, should I look to a less volatile situation? (Currently, only the LGW –> CPH is on 737-800 Airbus thingy. Main leg, DEN –> LGW does show 787-9.)

John Harper December 27, 2018 - 11:47 pm

These aircraft swaps will be history by next year. You should be more worried about whether Norwegian Air Shuttle will exist in October. FYI A 737-800 is a Boeing 737-800.


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