Norwegian Air, a Norway-based low-cost airline, has signed a memorandum of understanding with UK-based airline and transatlantic specialist, Virgin Atlantic.
The agreement between the two airlines is intended to be of mutual benefit, with Norwegian’s long-haul pilots being granted access to Virgin Atlantic’s extensive long-haul knowledge, and Virgin benefiting from the use of Norwegian’s brand new Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner for its instructors to receive pilot training.
The agreement means that Virgin Atlantic’s pilots will be able to gain experience on the new aircraft prior to the delivery of its first Dreamliner in September 2014.
Torstein Hoas, Norwegian Long Haul director of flight operations, said, ‘Introducing a new aircraft type to an airline is an extensive affair. It is therefore important that we learn from each other. Virgin Atlantic is a successful long-haul airline with almost 30 years of Trans-Atlantic experience. It will be very beneficial for us to receive this support. At the same time, we are looking forward to helping Virgin Atlantic introduce the 787 Dreamliner to its fleet. The cooperation will be a great advantage to both parties.’
The general manager of flight operations at Virgin Atlantic, captain Dave Kistruck, commented, ‘Virgin Atlantic are delighted to announce our training partnership with Norwegian. Our combined experience is being effectively utilised to ensure the safe and efficient introduction of the Boeing 787 aircraft to our fleet. We have much in common with Norwegian, having similar high quality training requirements, which has allowed our partnership to take shape.’
Virgin Atlantic’s order is for the slightly larger 787-9 Dreamliner.