New 7 year deal between Gatwick and Norwegian, that includes airline’s backing for 2nd runway

Gatwick airport has struck a deal with European low fares airline Norwegian, which includes getting their active support for the airport’s plans to get a 2nd runway. This comes weeks after the CAA agreed that Gatwick can make bespoke commercial arrangements with its airlines. Norwegian is to start low-cost transatlantic services to 3 US airports, using Boeing 787 Dreamliners next summer in addition to an increased European network. It is expected that there will be 3 flights per week to New York after July 2014, and 2 flights per week each to Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale. These may cost as little as £150 one way. The number of destinations served by Norwegian from Gatwick will rise to 33 in 2014 with 6 aircraft based there. This will make Norwegian one of the top 4 airlines at Gatwick during 2014. Low fares to the USA is expected to draw in more passengers. The airline’s CEO said: “Norwegian is very supportive of Gatwick’s runway expansion plan which would mean that the airport could offer even better operating facilities in the future.”


Landmark deal between Gatwick and Norwegian

28 November 2013  (Travel Weekly)

A “landmark” seven-year commercial deal has been struck between Gatwick and European low fares carrier Norwegian to support the airlines’s expansion plans from the airport – including backing for a second runway.

The agreement comes just weeks after the Civil Aviation Authority proposed to endorse Gatwick’s approach to creating bespoke commercial arrangements between its airlines and the airport.

Norwegian is to start low-cost transatlantic services to New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale using Boeing 787 Dreamliners next summer in addition to an increased European network.

The number of destinations served by the airline from Gatwick will rise to 33 in 2014 with six aircraft based at the airport. This will see Norwegian become one of the top four airlines at the airport next year.

Gatwick chief executive Stewart Wingate described the deal as a “landmark” in Gatwick’s history.

“Four years after the end of the BAA monopoly at Gatwick, this deal marks the start of a new era for passengers bringing more competition to the aviation market,” he said.

“It will mean that passengers travelling with Norwegian will experience even more choice, lower fares and higher customer standards. So this is great news for passengers and UK businesses travelling to Europe and North America.

“This partnership deal also shows the shared vision and commitment both Norwegian and Gatwick have for London and the southeast which is the largest, most exciting and vibrant travel market in the world.

“That commitment extends to Norwegian’s support for Gatwick’s need to build an additional runway by the mid-2020s.”

The airline’s chief executive Bjørn Kjos said: “As one of the fastest growing airlines at the airport, Norwegian will continue offering our passengers at Gatwick an increasing route network and a high quality product at reasonable fares.

“We are particularly excited about the potential to serve long-haul routes, and we have already announced the first three routes from London Gatwick to the US.

“Norwegian is very supportive of Gatwick’s runway expansion plan which would mean that the airport could offer even better operating facilities in the future.”






Budget airline to start flights from Gatwick to New York next summer

Scandinavian carrier Norwegian launches £149 transatlantic service which Gatwick calls an industry game-changer
  • , transport correspondent (Guardian)

The promise of low-cost air travel from Britain to the US that died with Laker Airways in the 1980s has been revived with Scandinavian carrier Norwegian starting budget services from Gatwick airport to New York next summer.

Gatwick claimed it was a “game-changing” development in the lucrative transatlantic market. A one-way ticket from London to the Big Apple will start at £149. Norwegian’s services will use the new Boeing Dreamliner which, despite its teething problems with incinerating batteries, is highly valued by airlines for its fuel savings.

Norwegian’s low-cost services will have a degree more comfort than the model pioneered by Ryanair. US-bound passengers will have seat-back entertainment included in their ticket price but will have to pay a further £30 for an extra package that includes meals, a baggage allowance and reserved seating.

Alongside the three services a week to New York starting in July, the airline will start twice-weekly flights to Fort Lauderdale in Florida and to Los Angeles, also for under £200.

The venture recalls the pioneering efforts of the doomed Laker Airways, which briefly blew open the transatlantic aviation market with its low-fares model before going bust in 1982. So far its no-frills emulators have resisted moving into long-haul. Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary has frequently expressed interest but claimed that the economics currently rule out longer low-cost flights.

However, Norwegian’s chief executive, Bjørn Kjos, said that his airline was uniquely placed to succeed through the combination of having already operated a no-frills short-haul model and acquiring the Dreamliner, which should cut fuel bills by at least 20%. Kjos said: “There’s great demand for high-quality flights at a low fare between the UK and the US, particularly to and from London Gatwick, where no other airline currently offers these routes.”

Both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic have dropped New York flights from Gatwick after deeming them economically unviable, although the airlines fly to other US leisure destinations from the Sussex airport.

Gatwick, though, believes that the “hub-busting” Boeing 787, a plane that can reach distant destinations despite being smaller than the A380 superjumbo, can transform its role in the long-haul market.

The airport’s chief executive, Stewart Wingate, said: “This is one of the most exciting route developments since Gatwick’s change of ownership four years ago and shows the benefits to passengers of Gatwick competing with Heathrow on routes, price and service.

“Norwegian’s decision to re-establish London Gatwick’s links to strategic destinations in North America gives passengers, once again, real choice about how to get there and, importantly, provide options for affordable travel to popular business and leisure destinations.”

Wingate said it was a “significant industry game-changer” that should shape the thinking of Sir Howard Davies’s airports commission, which is considering where to build extra runways in south-east England. He said: “It points to a future in which more and more long-haul routes will be served by Gatwick.”