Fifty more Dreamliners: Norwegian announces bold plan to revolutionise long haul travel at an expanded Gatwick
21 March 2016
In the most significant intervention in the airport expansion debate by an airline to date, Norwegian – currently Gatwick’s third largest airline – has announced ambitious plans to locate 50 Boeing 787 Dreamliners to serve global long haul destinations at an expanded Gatwick.
A further 100 Norwegian short haul aircraft would also be based at Gatwick, bringing the total number of new aircraft to 150.
This new fleet would allow Norwegian to continue the low cost long haul revolution – which has already resulted in new services from Gatwick to New York, Los Angeles, Fort Lauderdale, Oakland (San Francisco), and Boston – by reaching destinations in more established and emerging markets.
The larger fleet would also see Gatwick linking even more strongly to the nations and regions of the UK.
In a speech at the Aviation Club today, Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said that Gatwick was clearly the best choice for expansion – pointing out that only Gatwick’s plan offers lower landing charges providing more capacity for low-cost airlines to grow, leading to greater competition and positioning the UK to fit with future trends in global aviation.
“I strongly back Gatwick as the right choice for the new runway” Mr Kjos said.
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO said:
“This is by far the most significant and positive intervention by an airline in the expansion debate to date.
“Norwegian’s ambitious plans will continue the low cost long haul revolution for UK passengers delivering significantly cheaper long haul fares and more choice for generations to come.
“Norwegian recognises that Gatwick expansion can actually happen and would deliver a step change in capacity at a price everyone can afford.
“The UK must realise the potential of expansion and unlock the full benefits of competition by choosing a second runway at Gatwick.”
Norwegian currently has more than 260 new aircraft on order including 30 Dreamliners.