Tag Archives: Norwegian

Norwegian Honours Sir Freddie

Norwegian has revealed its maiden Boeing 737 MAX will pay tribute to aviation entrepreneur and pioneer Sir Freddie Laker.  The carrier has a long history of honouring iconic figures on the tails of its aircraft, noting the personalities displayed on its jets “symbolise the spirit of Norwegian through innovation, challenging the norm and inspiring others.”  Sir Freddie Laker will become Norwegian’s third British hero, following author Roald Dahl and pioneering aviatrix Amy Johnson.

Sir Freddie enjoyed a long and distinguished career in aviation, working for aircraft manufacturer Short Brothers, delivering military aircraft during World War Two, and setting up several airline ventures post-war.  He was arguably best known for founding Laker Airways and the ‘Skytrain’ service which first took to the air in September 1977, offering low-cost long-haul flights from London/Gatwick to New York/JFK.

Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said: “We continue to see huge growth in our transatlantic flights but we are standing on the shoulders of giants like Sir Freddie Laker who first pioneered the idea that travel should be affordable for all.

“Millions of passengers around the world owe a huge debt to Laker, who first opened the door to the affordable fares we all now enjoy.  We are honoured to have Sir Freddie as one of our tail fin heroes and it is especially fitting that he will be the first face on our brand new MAX aircraft serving new transatlantic routes between the UK, Europe and the US this summer.”

Norwegian will take delivery of the first of 100 MAXs in May.

Norwegian’s First Neo Heads East

Norwegian subsidiary Arctic Aviation Assets (AAA) has received its first Airbus A320neo, which has been immediately leased to HK Express. The jet, B-LCL (c/n 7209), is the first of 70 A320neos the Norwegian Group has on order, and the first of 12 which will be leased to Hong Kong-based budget carrier HK Express.

“This delivery is a milestone for us as it is the first of many Airbus aircraft to be delivered in the near future. It is a pleasure to work with HK Express and support their expanding network with the modern and fuel-efficient A320neo,” said AAA COO Tore Jenssen.

Norwegian is expecting to take delivery of the first eight of the 30 Airbus A321LRs it has on order in 2019 with the remaining 22 following over the next two years.

Green Light for Norwegian

Norwegian Air International’s (NAI’s) foreign air carrier permit has finally been approved by the US Department of Transportation (DOT), paving the way for the carrier to begin transatlantic services between Ireland and the US.

Ireland-based NAI had originally applied for the permit three years ago, but the DOT was reluctant to give it the go ahead amid concerns raised by US carriers.  The authority tentatively sanctioned the application in April but final approval only came on December 2.

“Regardless of our appreciation of the public policy arguments raised by opponents, we have been advised that the law and our bilateral obligations leave us no avenue to reject this application,” the DOT wrote in its final order.

Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos said: “We welcome the long overdue news that Norwegian Air International has finally been awarded a foreign air carrier permit by the US Department of Transportation.  The decision paves the way for greater competition, more flights and more jobs on both sides of the Atlantic. Above all, it is a victory for millions of passengers who will benefit from more choice and lower fares.  We now look forward to continuing our global expansion, delivering new routes, more jobs and economic boosts.”

The news came as Norwegian announced a major expansion of its Transatlantic services from London/Gatwick.  The low-cost carrier is increasing the number of long-haul flights it operates from the East Sussex airport by 55%, raising from 22 weekly departures to 34.

Thomas Ramdahl, Norwegian’s CCO, said: “Our US flights are more popular than ever and customer demand shows low-cost long-haul flights are here to stay.  By expanding the number of transatlantic flights from Gatwick, we are giving tourists and business passengers more flexibility, attractive fares and convenient schedules.  With nine more 787 Dreamliners entering our fleet next year, this will be just the beginning of our UK expansion.  Norwegian will continue to grow the number of great value flights to the US and drive down fares to become the UK’s number one airline of choice.”

Services to New York/JFK will increase to double-daily (except Wednesday) from August 10 with Los Angeles becoming daily in April.  There will also be five weekly departures to Oakland-San Francisco while Orlando and Fort Lauderdale will operate thrice- and twice-weekly respectively.

Norwegian Set for US Charters

Norwegian will enter the US leisure market after signing its first charter contracts.  The deals, with Apple Vacations and Funjet Vacations, are valued at a combined £10m and will see the Oslo-based carrier base three Boeing 737-800s in Milwaukee and Chicago between December and April.  The jets are expected to operate more than 600 services to leisure destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean.

Commenting on the agreements, Norwegian’s Chief Commercial Officer Thomas Ramdahl said: “We are very excited to expand our charter operations to the United States and partner with Apple Vacations and Funjet Vacations.  We look forward to having more Americans enjoy the Norwegian experience on their way to what will hopefully be a fantastic holiday.”