May 19, 2020

Norwegian Air plans routes from Canada to Europe

Toronto
Dublin
Bjorn Kjos
Norwegian Air
Olivia Minnock
2 min
Norwegian Air plans routes from Canada to Europe

New low-cost flights between Europe and Canada are all set to be launched by Norwegian Air this summer.

Norwegian Air, which is based in Norway but registered in Ireland, has been granted a permit by the Canadian Transport Agency (CTA) to begin selling tickets ahead of this summer’s launch.

However, it is still awaiting more regulatory approval from Transport Canada. CTA’s permit is a positive sign for this, with CTA having stated: “Transport Canada advises that is expected the applicant will be issued a [permit] in time for the proposed startup date. Accordingly, the agency is satisfied that there is a high probability that the license will issue prior to the intended startup date on July 23rd, 2018”.

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The airline confirmed to CBC News it will enter the Canadian market, but has not gone into detail regarding specific prices and routes.

Anders Lindström, the airline’s Director of Communications for the US, has stated: “As the world’s fastest-growing airline, we are continuously reviewing new markets and applying for traffic rights. While Canada is an interesting market, it’s too early to confirm any route plans and we still need full approval from the Canadian authorities to announce or launch any new service.”

At the moment, Wow Air (from Iceland) offers flights between Canada and continental Europe for as little as $149. Primera Air (from Latvia) has also announced it plans routes from Toronto to both England and France.  

A spokesperson from Norwegian Air told the Irish Independent: “As an ambitious airline with a huge aircraft order, it’s no secret that we have plans to expand to other parts of the world. We have applied for a license to operate flights to and from Canada as it’s an interesting market, and we are currently evaluating route opportunities”.

The Irish Independent also mentioned that Norwegian Air currently operates routes to the US out of Dublin, Shannon and Cork airports in Ireland, which could suggest any or all of these will be options for Canadian flights in the future.

CEO Bjorn Kjos previously told the newspaper that the airline could fly to Toronto from Dublin in future using its new Boeing 737 Max jets, of which ir has ordered over 100.

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Jun 18, 2021

Microsoft: Building a secure foundation to drive NASCAR

NASCAR
Microsoft
3 min
Racing fans can expect the ultimate virtual experience as a result of the partnership with Microsoft and NASCAR

Microsoft is a key partner of The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) and together they are driving ahead to create an inclusive and immersive new fan experience (FX).

These long-term partners have not only navigated the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the use of Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365, but are now looking to a future packed with virtual events to enhance the FX, well beyond NASCAR’S famous Daytona racetrack. 

“Together, we've created a secure environment that's allowed for collaboration, but the future is all about the fans”, said Melinda Cook, General Manager for Microsoft South USA Commercial Business, who cited a culture of transparency, passion, adaptiveness, and a growth mindset as to why this alignment is so successful.”

“We've partnered to create a fluid, immersive experience for the users that is supported by a secure foundation with Microsoft in the background. We are focused on empowering and enabling customers and businesses, like NASCAR, to reach their full potential. We do this with our cloud platform which provides data insights and security.”

“Our cloud environment allows NASCAR to move forward with their digital transformation journey while we are in the background,” said Cook who highlights that Microsoft is helping NASCAR

  • Empower employees productivity and collaboration
  • Improve fan engagement and experience
  • Improve environment security and IT productivity
  • Improve racing operations

 

Microsoft Teams, which is part of the Microsoft 365 suite, enabled employees to work remotely, while staying productive, during the pandemic. “This allowed people to provide the same level of productivity with the use of video conference and instant messaging to collaborate on documents. Increased automation also allows the pit crews, IT, and the business to focus on safety, racing operations, and on the fan experience,” said Cook.

“We have started to innovate to create a more inclusive fanbase, this includes using Xbox to give people the experience of being a virtual racer or even leveraging some of the tools in Microsoft Teams to have a virtual ride along experience.”

“These environments are how we create a more inclusive and immersive experience for the fans. We're working on a virtual fan wall which allows people from new locations to participate in these events,” said Cook, who pointed out Microsoft was also helping bring legacy experiences alive from NASCAR’s archives. 

“At Microsoft we can take it one level further by letting fans know what it's like to see the pit crew experience, the data and all the behind-the-scenes action. We will continue to improve automation with machine learning and artificial intelligence, from marketing to IT operations to finance to racing operations,” said Cook.

Christine Stoffel-Moffett, Vice President of Enterprise Technology at NASCAR, said: “Microsoft is one of our key partners. They have been instrumental in helping the NASCAR enterprise technology team re-architect our Microsoft systems to ensure an advanced level of security across our environment, contribute to our business outcomes, and focus on fan experience.”

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