Maximise your Avios, air miles and hotel points

Norwegian acquires fellow Norwegian airline Widerøe

Links on Head for Points may support the site by paying a commission.  See here for all partner links.

Norwegian has announced the acquisition of fellow Norwegian airline Widerøe.

Norwegian CEO Geir Karlsen called it a “milestone in Norwegian aviation history”.

Widerøe has historically been close to SAS, and you can earn and spend SAS EuroBonus points on its flights. Whilst Norwegian has promised to keep the two airlines separate, with both brands continuing to exist, it would be surprising if the network did not evolve to favour Widerøe / Norwegian connections over Widerøe / SAS. Historically Widerøe has had a business focus whilst Norwegian is generally seen as a seasonal leisure carrier.

Norwegian buys Widerøe

The headline price is $105m subject to various adjustments. The deal is reliant on competition approvals which are expected by the end of 2023. In theory the deal looks acceptable, with little crossover between Widerøe’s domestic Norwegian operation (which mainly uses Dash 8 turboprop aircraft) and Norwegian’s existing short haul network which is based around Boeing 737s.

Despite Norwegian flying 22 domestic routes, primarily to/from Oslo, Bergen, Trondheim, Bodø and Tromsø, there are only five routes where the two airlines compete. Widerøe has no competition on virtually all of its other routes, many of which are subsidised by the government.

Widerøe will, almost certainly, cut ties with EuroBonus and become part of the new combined Norwegian / Strawberry (Nordic Choice Hotels) loyalty programme which was announced last week.

Comments (25)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • omicron says:

    With SAS looking at a potential bankruptcy at the moment I’m not sure the deal will be approved, as that could potentially leave domestic flights in Norway without any competition at all (depending on who ends up taking over what’s left of SAS and what they do with it). I also frequently fly London-Bergen, a route that’s currently only served by Wideroe and Norwegian, so hoping to keep some competition in the game.

    • JDB says:

      It’s not ‘potential” – SAS is currently in bankruptcy, having filed a year ago and if it can raise the necessary equity (which is likely), on track to emerge from the process in the autumn.

  • Bagoly says:

    Why would Sixt close T5 if they open in T2?
    On a given journey, they are hardly substitutes – the whole point of both is to avoid having to take the shuttle ‘bus,

    • roberto says:

      I have a sixt T5 drop off together with a Soiftel overnight and an early morning BA flight next month. If it means I now have to faff about and go to T2 I won’t be best pleased.

      I stopped using Avis and flipped to Sixt when Avis pulled out of T5 a couple of years back. The T5 drop off is a great option for me however I can appreciate its going to be expensive for Sixt to maintain a base there when Avis realised they would be better off elsewhere.

      • Save East Coast Rewards says:

        It’s easy enough to see. I did a dummy booking for October and there’s the T2 option and the T5 option. If you select T4 it currently shows T5 plus a shuttle (with limited hours due to covid apparently!) so it looks like this is an improvement not a change

  • Save East Coast Rewards says:

    Avis definitely used to have the ability to collect your car from T2, not sure if/when this stopped. See here

    Before Avis had their office at T5 there used to be gold priority bays in T5 where BA Gold could hire a car from Avis and collect it from the ground floor of the car park (the keys were in a locker and you were given the code). It was a nice benefit but was made obsolete when Avis opened their T5 office. Unfortunately it never returned when Avis moved out of T5

  • David S says:

    I have tried 3 times to get airline points with Sixt. I put my details on the booking, nothing posted. The previous time I tried using their online functionality for post rental credits and it didn’t work (even after what must have been 50 tries over a week and trying two different airline loyalty schemes). The very first time, I asked their Customer Services to do it for me and whilst they said they had done it, nothing ever posted… I gave up using them

    • Peter says:

      In my experience, Avis customer service is much worse than Sixt. Their “German speaking” customer service consists of ladies with Spanish names Google translating prefabricated text chunks into German, and sending them out whether they make sense in the given situation or not. Only Royal Air Maroc customer service is worse still, but not by much

  • s879 says:

    I live about 25 minutes from Heathrow. Can anyone advise which company usually offers best deals for car rentals? I know people used to mention a Australian site. Please advise as I need it for a week this month. I know it will depend on availability but if there is a code or deal that often works, that would be a good starting point for me.

    • tony says:

      Kayak is good, as it will show Heathrow as well as nearby locations across multiple rental agencies and bookers (so the same car booked through Expedia might be half the price of booking direct). I think the Australia point might be the idea where you tell Hertz (IIRC) that you are from Australia and the price tumbles. Sometimes.

    • Nate1309 says:

      Costco travel can be good value for car hire

    • Rob says:

      Hertz Australia used to be crazy cheap, esp with the Amex Plat code, but those days are gone.

      • Danny says:

        Hertz Australia can sometimes still be much cheaper, and saved me a couple of hundred quid on a recent UK rental. But it is less consistently cheaper than in the past. You can also try Hertz South American countries (pretty much any of them will do) for cheap rates.

        • Chrisasaurus says:

          Anyone ever find a way to get your Hertz Gold number in a booking done on another site?

          When you log in you come back to the GB site and you can’t seem to add restrospectively

    • Nick says:

      There’s plenty of comparison sites you can use if you care mainly about price. Many of the hire companies are together on the north side of the airport so location doesn’t matter. I’ll be honest though and say it’s the one thing I never compare because so many in the market are cowboys. Always Enterprise for me, the only difference is whether I collect at Heathrow itself or in Slough if it’s a significant price difference.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Slough? That’s a bit of a shlep?

        • Nick says:

          It’s 20 mins on the bus from Heathrow. Don’t often do it but if I have a few hours to kill and it saves £100+ then I don’t mind. Usually it only applies around bank holidays though, when there aren’t any business bookings, most of the time I do use the heathrow office.

          • Nick says:

            P.S. the main point I was making is that I’d prefer to go to Slough than use Hertz, Europcar, or any of the other cowboys.

  • The real Swiss Tony says:

    I find it genuinely funny when people say “global hire company XYZ is a scam”. My experience has been that when it goes wrong, it’s a colossal nightmare, be that with Avis (2 scratched alloys, reported at collection, charged £1600, took a chargeback to resolve), Hertz (given a smaller car than I had paid for, refused a refund when I realised because I had accepted the vehicle, AMEX had to intervene), Europcar (accused me of stealing a parcel shelf which was never in the car to start with, took me to threaten to call the police before they grew up) or Enterprise (stone chip in windscreen, withheld £1k on my credit card for about 10 weeks before sending me the final bill, which my insurer settled in 72hrs).

    Even the good ones are as bad as each other, and that’s before you get down to the Goldcar level of scuzz. But if you think someone can rent you a car for £5 a day without making back the money somewhere else, then fool you….

    • CamFlyer says:

      Fwiw, I have rented with Sixt, Hertz and European in recent years. I tend to be most comfortable with the first two, having been double charged by Europcar on one rental (due to having booked through Expedia, who never transferred the payment to Europcar; even the credit card dispute was denied by Visa, as I had authorised payment to Expedia), and on the other the infant car seat they provided was barely fit for use. Issues with Hertz are more being ‘upgraded’ from a standard brand SUV into a ‘premium’ Audi sedan. Franchised Hertz locations (Cyprus, Palma?) are more hit or miss; in the US they’re excellent and I don’t use anyone else.

      • CamFlyer says:

        And I won’t use Enterprise, after numerous bad experiences with Enterprise Car Club.

      • tony says:

        I feel that car hire in the US and Canada is just a different business model altogether. Never had a problem over there with any of the majors. They understand cars will face wear and tear. That’s factored into the price and the whole process is used to help control 2nd hand car prices. Indeed I’m sure Ford and GM were historically massive shareholders in Avis & Hertz. In Europe however it’s the additional insurance and punitive charges for damage that allow them to make money.

        Return a car in the US, all they want to check is the mileage, that it still has 4 wheels and that it’s full of gas.

    • Londonsteve says:

      I agree. Car rental can be a minefield and very high post-pandemic prices prompted myself and many others to look for other solutions. In Europe at least, many will have discovered the low cost joys of some excellent rail networks with the likes of Bolt and Uber stitching together the missing bits. All at lower cost than car rental + fuel + road tolls + fines + grey hairs from the stress of dealing with most car rental firms. If I really wanted to visit a location in Europe where car rental is indispensible for touring, I’d rather drive there in my own car even if it’s a bit dearer than flight + car rental.

  • s879 says:

    Thank you all, very useful points.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

The UK's biggest frequent flyer website uses cookies, which you can block via your browser settings. Continuing implies your consent to this policy. Our privacy policy is here.