Norwegian Air has announced new flights from the Caribbean islands of Martinique (FDF) and Guadeloupe (PTP) to Boston (BOS), Baltimore (BWI), and New York City (JFK) that will begin on December 3rd, 2015. The flights will operate 3x weekly between JFK to Martinique (FDF) on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturday and from JFK to Guadeloupe (PTP) on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays. For Boston (BOS) the flights operate Thursday and Sundays to Guadeloupe (PTP), and Wednesday and Sundays to Martinique (FDF). Baltimore (BWI) flights operate on Tuesdays and Saturdays to Guadeloupe (PTP), and Mondays and Fridays to Martinique (FDF). Keep in mind these are seasonal additions for the winter, so they may not be back next year.
So how can Norwegian Air operate flights in the Caribbean to the United States? Well it happens that both Guadeloupe and Martinique are part of the European Union. So this makes it possible for any airline based in the European Union to operate flights from there without any special rights. Theoretically, Norwegian could also serve the French side of Saint Martin and French Guiana because of these rights. While Saint Martin wouldn’t work because the airport on the French side has a small runway and French Guiana does not have much demand it is interesting nevertheless. Now back to the islands, while Guadeloupe and Martinique are not the most popular islands for Americans I believe they could be a great additions as only American and Air Canada currently operate flights to these islands from North America. What will help the flights is that Norwegian is pricing the flights significantly cheaper than the competition. I am finding many round trips for about $400ish on Norwegian compared to American or Air Canada that are pricing out at $750ish with connections.
Even if you don’t live in one of the three cities that Norwegian is operates the Caribbean flights from you could always position yourself to one of the gateways through other airlines either through awards or paid tickets. Baltimore in particular has a lot cheap options throughout the country thanks to Southwest. One could fly Southwest to Baltimore and then buy a separate ticket to one of the French islands.
Hopefully these new Caribbean routes are successful for Norwegian as they have stated they have big plans for flights to the United States of America!