Having secured remedial slots at Amsterdam Schipol, caused by the EU insistence that airlines involved in joint ventures, surrender some of their slots to re-balance competition, Norwegian announced it would start four a week flights as soon as possible.
The arrival of Norwegian at Schipol will be the first major low cost long haul threat to incumbent KLM and its Delta partnership. While minor at present – slots are hard to come by, a revision to slot allocation practice and flight numbers at the airport is already under discussion after the cargo slot fiasco at the end of 2017. That saw KLM effectively blackmailed into submission over slots for Russia’s AirBridgeCargo being given it by the airline.
The Russian Government told KLM it would stop it flying in Russian air space to Asian destinations unless it complied. The move was seen as outrageous and KLM took a great deal of criticism, as did the government for not doing enough to prevent it.