Norwegian has unveiled ambitious plans to expand its long-haul network at Gatwick and to grow its fleet. However, its financial results show a net loss of of NKr299m (£27.7m) for the year to 31 December 2017.
Norwegian launched its inaugural route from London Gatwick to Buenos Aires on Wednesday. The day before it held a press event to herald its ambitions for the UK.
Norwegian unveiled a shopping list of possible future long-haul routes from London Gatwick.
These routes include Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing. Norwegian is also due to take delivery of the Airbus A321 Long Range aircraft in 2019 and, from 2020, this could operate routes from London Gatwick to Philadelphia, Detroit and Minneapolis.
The airline also has firm plans to increase frequencies on London Gatwick – Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale this summer. It is also hoped to increase London Gatwick – New York JFK to three times daily.
Norwegian was duly rewarded with one of the most read articles on BBC News Online on Wednesday, which only touched on the sustainability of its business model towards the end of the article.
There was less positive news for Norwegian’s shareholders today.
Norwegian is to launch yet more long-haul routes from London Gatwick with the addition of Chicago O’Hare and Austin to its network from late March 2018
Norwegian will fly to Austin three times weekly from Tuesday 27 March 2018 and Chicago O’Hare four times weekly from Sunday 25 March 2018.
The launch of Austin will create a second link between London and the city. Currently, British Airways is the only airline to fly direct between London and Austin.
Yet more expansion by Norwegian is a major headache for both BA and Virgin Atlantic. Norwegian can now claim to serve two US states not served by Virgin Atlantic: Illinois and Texas. Virgin Atlantic suspended Chicago this year.. BA has also coveted being the exclusive operator of routes such as Austin as it gives the airline pricing power in the market.
Norwegian has announced yet another long-haul route from London Gatwick. The airline will fly to Buenos Aires four times weekly from Wednesday 14 February 2018. This will be the airline’s first direct route from London Gatwick to South America.
As per other long-haul routes at Gatwick, the route will be served by Norwegian’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner in a two class configuration.
Norwegian’s aggressive expansion at London Gatwick continues with the launch of a new route from London Gatwick to Singapore Changi airport.
The route will launch on Thursday 28 September 2017. It will initially operate four times weekly, increasing to five times weekly from Monday 30 October 2017. The flight will be operated by the mainstay of Norwegian’s long-haul operations, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner in a two class configuration.
Norwegian Air Shuttle continues its rapid expansion at London Gatwick with the launch of new direct flights to Las Vegas.
The airline will fly to Las Vegas twice weekly (Monday & Thursday) from Monday 31 October 2016.
This will be Norwegian’s 8th long-haul route from London Gatwick after New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco-Oakland, Boston, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Puerto Rico.
Norwegian will be competing against direct flights by Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick and British Airways from London Heathrow.
On that note, the very rapid growth by Norwegian is not going unnoticed by either British Airways nor Virgin Atlantic. We have already seen British Airways reinstate its London Gatwick – New York JFK route as an apparent competitive response. We would not be surprised to see further activity by either airlines which both depend very heavily on transatlantic traffic for profitability.
Flights are on sale now at Norwegian.com and an initial scan of fares shows return trips being available for less than £399.
London Gatwick – Las Vegas
Flight DY7107 Depart London Gatwick 12:10 – Arrive Las Vegas 16:00 (Monday, Thursday)
Las Vegas – London Gatwick
Flight DY7108 Depart Las Vegas 18:00 – Arrive London Gatwick 10:50