Norwegian plans on further developing routes from London Gatwick Airport and is targeting expansion into South America and Asia.
Speaking yesterday at an event in London, the airline’s chief executive officer, Bjorn Kjos (pictured below) revealed intentions to grow long-haul services from the UK to more destinations.
However, this is likely to be a challenge moving forward due to the lack of slots available at capacity-stretched Gatwick, which is limited in its route development due to only having one runway.
But Kjos said the carrier is exploring potential new routes to more South American countries due to strong ticket sales on the Buenos Aires route. Norwegian starts a service today to Buenos Aires from Gatwick using a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
The airline also plans to give UK passengers onward connections to cities around Argentina and Latin America as it prepares to launch new domestic services in the country after receiving an Air Operator’s Certificate from the Argentine authorities.
Further Asia expansion, Kjos said will build upon the successful launch of the world’s longest low-cost route to Singapore with destinations such as Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing planned if it receives access to the Siberian corridor, which would give the most efficient and direct routing across Russia to the Far East.
Norwegian chief executive officer, Bjorn Kjos said: “The UK will be at the heart of our continued global expansion and we remain fully committed to the market. We are launching long-haul routes exclusively from London Gatwick, introducing our newest Dreamliners to Gatwick and increasing frequency on popular routes which reflects the growing importance of the UK to the future of our business.”
The London to Buenos Aires route will increase to a daily service this winter, while further increases to Los Angeles from nine to 11 flights per week and a rise from two to four weekly flights to Fort Lauderdale (Miami), are also planned. Norwegian also has long-term ambitions to secure slots for a triple-daily Gatwick to New York service.
Kjos added: “UK passengers will be the first to benefit from our newest routes and upgraded long-haul passenger experience. With plans to roll-out inflight Wi-Fi on our long-haul flights, Norwegian will be in a better position to increasingly target business passengers as we also have plans for more exciting routes and flights to the USA, South America and Asia.
“With huge global ambitions, we’re confident that the UK can offer Norwegian a springboard to further expansion as we aim to become the long-haul airline of choice for passengers seeking a high-quality service at great value.”
Europe’s third largest low-cost airline has led the market in low-cost long-haul travel since first launching transatlantic services from Gatwick to the US in 2014. Norwegian has since flown more than two million passengers on its transatlantic routes at Gatwick.
The airline flew more than 5.1 million UK passengers in 2017 and will shortly commence a series of new long-haul routes using Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft and along with the Buenos Aires route, it will start services to Chicago and Austin in March.
Norwegian’s first Airbus aircraft will fly UK intercontinental services from 2020 and eight new Airbus A321neo LR will land in Norwegian’s fleet in 2019 and serve the UK from 2020. The A321neo LR will be Norwegian’s first Airbus aircraft to fly in its fleet as plans are underway to use these aircraft from London to the US East Coast and Midwest.
Cities such as Detroit, Philadelphia and Minneapolis are potential destinations that could be served while Norwegian will also consider routes to the Middle East using the Airbus A321neo LR. The airline will also be welcoming 10 new Dreamliners into its fleet in 2018.