Budget airline Norwegian and the UK’s second largest airport, Gatwick, have entered into a long term commercial partnership, with the airline unveiling its growth plans at the airport.
The plans for 2014 include new trans-Atlantic routes to New York to be operated three times weekly, and twice weekly services to Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale direct from Gatwick starting from July. All long haul routes will be operated on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, which will have 291 seats including 259 in economy and 32 in premium economy
From April 2014, Norwegian will offer services once a week on a Saturday to Santorini, Sicily and Cyprus, and three times a week to Budapest. From July 2014, there will also be a service once a week on a Saturday to Corfu.
From summer 2014, Norwegian will increase its frequencies to: Malaga, Ibiza, Split, Dubrovnik, Majorca, Faro, Tenerife, Copenhagen and Barcelona.
Bjorn Kjos, Norwegians CEO, said: ‘Norwegian is delighted to have agreed a long term commercial partnership with London Gatwick. 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.’
Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick, said: ‘This partnership with Norwegian is a landmark in London 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.
‘This partnership deal also shows the shared vision and commitment both Norwegian and Gatwick have for London and the South East 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 commercial agreement comes after the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) proposed to endorse Gatwick’s approach to creating custom-made commercial arrangements between its airlines and the airport.
Norwegian started UK operations at Gatwick in 2009, moving from Stansted Airport. Nearly two million of its passengers will use the airport this year, flying to 25 destinations across Europe. This is expected to increase to 33 destinations across Europe and North America.