From Berlin directly to Los Angeles or New York: The Norwegian low-cost airline Norse Atlantic Airways is launching two new long-haul connections to the United States from Willy Brandt Airport, where intercontinental flights have so far been rare.

The details are to be announced at a press conference in Schönefeld on Wednesday afternoon. The invitation did not mention which airline would jump into this BER gap. But surprisingly, the airline itself, one of the most exciting new start-ups in international aviation, has been aggressively advertising the planned direct connections between Berlin and New York and Los Angeles on its website since Wednesday morning.

The company announced the prices in a press release on Wednesday morning: From August 17, the airline will be flying daily from Berlin directly to New York, one-way flights will cost from 160 euros. From August 19 there will be direct flights to Los Angeles three times a week from 189 euros one way. According to the company, ticket sales have already started.

Norse is one of the world’s youngest airlines with one of the most modern fleets. The low-cost airline advertises “with cheap transatlantic fares”.

The Norwegian Bjørn Tore Larsen founded the airline in early 2021, which flies with brand new Boeing 787s, the so-called “Dreamliners”, which are 50 percent quieter and emit 25 percent less carbon dioxide, according to the website. The brand was inspired by the “Oseberg longship” in Oslo, “a symbol of the tireless inventiveness of Viking explorers”.

Airline CEO Bjørn Tore Larsen said: “For far too long, the vibrant and culturally diverse city of Berlin has had inadequate transatlantic connections. With our highly competitive fares and direct flights, our customers can finally enjoy affordable and convenient travel between Germany and the United States.”

The two new routes offer “a direct and cost-effective option that saves both money and time for local and international businesses when they choose to travel to and from the United States or use our freight services.”

For Berlin-Brandenburg Airport, the Norwegian airline’s decision could hardly have come at a better time. BER had just suffered a serious setback because of the announcement by the local market leader Easyjet that it was partially withdrawing from the Berlin location.

And the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair, which recently withdrew from Frankfurt Airport and switched to the cheaper Nuremberg Airport, ultimately demands lower fees in Berlin.

Berlin has – a structural problem for decades – hardly any direct long-distance connections. The main reason is that Lufthansa uses Frankfurt am Main and Munich as hubs for its intercontinental routes for historical reasons.

Only United Airlines has so far flown directly from BER to the USA, all year round from Berlin to New York. The first US direct long-haul connection from BER only started in March 2022. A direct connection to Washington that had already been announced by the airline for May had been shelved.

So far, there are other long-haul connections from Willy Brandt Airport daily with the low-cost airline Scoot to Singapore and with Qatar Airways to Doha, the capital of Qatar, an air hub to Asia, Africa and the Middle East.