An heir to the Hennig-Olsen ice cream fortune launched plans this week to start up a new airline serving cities around Europe from his hometown of Kristiansand. Espen Hennig-Olsen claims he’ll offer both low fares and food on board from another native of southern Norway, chef Trond Moi.
Hennig-Olsen’s airline, called Fly Nonstop, has agreed to lease a new 100-seat Embraer aircraft, reported newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). The airline will take off next spring, according to Hennig-Olsen’s plan, with service from Kristiansand’s airport at Kjevik to London, Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, Dubrovnik, Parma, Palma and Nice.
With round-trip fares from NOK 1,798 (USD 299) to Berlin and food from Moi’s restaurant chain Bølgen og Moi, Hennig-Olsen said he hopes to attract 5,000 passengers a year. “If we manage that, we’ll earn a profit during the first year of operations,” he told DN.
Hennig-Olsen sold out his stake in the family ice cream company for NOK 50 million but wouldn’t say how much of that he’s investing in the airline venture. Others are skeptical he’ll succeed, given competition from SAS and Norwegian Air.
“It would be super if Kristiansand can get so many direct routes,” Per Braathen, who sold out of his family’s former airline and now owns Malmö Aviation along with other businesses. “But there’s only one thing riskier than starting an airline and that’s gambling on horses.” A spokeswoman for Norwegian wished Hennig-Olsen luck, adding it was daring of him to enter such a competitive business.