Norwegian to launch long haul services from London Gatwick to North America

European low cost carrier, Norwegian, has said that it will launch three new non-stop long haul services from London Gatwick to North America next summer, according to news a release by Gatwick authorities.

The routes include direct flights to New York (JFK), Los Angeles (LAX) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL).

With the introductions, passengers using Gatwick will have a choice of a range of flights to US airports and, more importantly, competitively priced fares starting from GBP149 one way to New York, GBP179 to Fort Lauderdale and £199 to Los Angeles. On average, these fares will be up to 50 percent cheaper than fares from Heathrow.

Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick, 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.

‘Norwegian’s decision to operate high quality services on new long range aircraft offering good-value fares to the US from London Gatwick is a significant industry game-changer. It points to a future in which more and more long haul routes will be served by Gatwick. This is an important industry development that I am sure the Airports Commission will want to look at closely when considering the future shape of aviation.’

Norwegian’s CEO, Bjorn Kjos, said: ‘There’s great demand for high quality flights at a low fare between the UK and the U.S., particularly to and from London Gatwick, where no other airline currently offers these routes. We are looking forward to welcoming many new customers on board our brand new aircraft. Launching intercontinental routes between London Gatwick and the United States is also an important part of our strategy to expand internationally and get a stronger foothold in markets outside Scandinavia.’

Norwegian moved from Stansted to Gatwick in 2009, and since then has increased its flights from the airport by more than a third. In spring 2013, it introduced a UK base at Gatwick and started 12 new direct European routes.

In addition to its new long haul routes, Norwegian will also be launching a number of new short haul routes from Gatwick in 2014, adding to its 25 destinations. New services will include Budapest, Santorini, Sicily, Cyprus and Corfu. From summer 2014, Norwegian will also increase the frequencies on nine of its current routes.

ANZ to make changes to its location at LA airport

Air New Zealand (ANZ) has announced changes to its service location at Los Angeles Airport.

The air carrier said that by 2014, it would have moved from Terminal 2 to the Tom Bradley International Terminal at Los Angeles airport. The change of location will be accompanied by the creation of new ambience for customers at the new location.

The firm said that it would design and operate a new Star Alliance lounge at the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Eligible ANZ passengers departing the airport will be able to access the facility, as well as travellers with eight Star Alliance partners, including Lufthansa and Singapore Airlines. In addition, and to the benefit of transit passengers, the company said that passengers flying on services NZ1 and NZ2 would no longer be restricted to the existing transit lounge. They would be allowed to clear customs and then make use of the new Star Alliance facility.

The upgrade to the carrier’s facility at Tom Bradley International Terminal will add 18 new gates, and a new dining and retail space is to be added in the next two years. It is expected that once open the new facilities will be able to accommodate 30 percent more customers per hour.

The firm said that the new Star Alliance lounge would be three times the size of the existing facility at Terminal 2.

The company is also undertaking major changes to its look and services in order to provide a fresh new appeal. Last week, it announced plans to revamp its logo and livery.

 

Los Angeles’ Historic Hotels Continue to Attract Star-Crazy Visitors

California’s largest city is a slight enigma, housing an iconic film industry yet lacking a independent  identity, particularly in its central suburbs. While Los Angeles remains one of the nation’s top tourist draws, its lack of cult attractions is one of several factors holding it back from becoming a must-see international city. That is, of course, a lack of cult attractions within the city itself.

Walk through Los Angeles’ suburban areas and you’ll constantly be confronted with reminders of its history – large ‘gold rush’ styled villas and equally expansive boulevards. The city comprises part of the nation’s largest economy and looks particularly affluent when viewed from street level, with the iconic ‘California-style’ housing spreading for miles into the desert surroundings and nearby hills.

But venture outside of suburban Los Angeles and you’ll find a series of historic hotels, each home to thousands of creepy stories and classic riches-to-rags disaster tales. Los Angeles’ recent history isn’t lacking in controversy and tragedy – during the height of the city’s drug-fuelled boom, rock star and iconic figure David Bowie suggested that it should be ‘burned from the face of the earth.’

While the city’s various historic hotels draw in guests, it’s the Sunset Tower Hotel that draws most of the celebrity interest. Built in the late 1920s and used as a housing complex by John Wayne, this big and blocky building is one of several lined with photographs of its former guests. It’s not a complete image of vintage Hollywood, however, as modern amenities make it a more attractive residence.

If the thought of a bland night in the Marriott, Intercontinental, or Four Seasons lacks the creativity that Los Angeles is known for, don’t let it become your only choice. A weekend in one of the city’s numerous historical hotels is equal parts interesting and luxurious, and a welcome alternative to its central city character-devoid complexes.