Norwegian announces new routes to Chicago and Austin from Gatwick

Norwegian Air, a Norwegian low-cost airline, has announced two new US routes from London Gatwick, with flights now on sale to Chicago with fares from £179, and Austin, Texas from £239.

Starting March 25, 2018, Norwegian will commence a year-round, four-weekly service to Chicago O’Hare International Airport, with economy fares from £179 one way and Premium fares from £499. And, starting March 27, 2018, Norwegian will operate flights to Austin with a new year-round, three-weekly service to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, with fares available from £239 one way and Premium fares from £579.

Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said: ‘Once again we have put the UK at the heart of our ambitious expansion plans, with affordable fares to another two exciting US destinations. As America’s third biggest city, Chicago is perfect addition to our growing networks while Austin has also become a major hub for leisure and business travel so we are delighted to offer passengers more choice and lower fares to these vibrant cities.

‘Many people said low-cost long-haul would never work but three years, 13 routes and 1.5 million UK passengers later and Norwegian has shown there is huge demand for more affordable long-haul travel.’

Stewart Wingate, Gatwick CEO, said: ‘These new flights are yet more proof that the low cost long haul revolution is here to stay as Norwegian and Gatwick’s long haul networks reach into all four corners of the globe. Norwegian now offers 13 long-haul routes from Gatwick to destinations across the US and also to South America and south east Asia.

‘The addition of new flights to Chicago and Austin also means that Gatwick’s long haul network breaks yet another world record as we now offer 62 long haul routes – more than any other single runway airport in the world – and the fifth largest network of any airport in Europe.’

The new routes from London Gatwick to Chicago and Austin will be operated on the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft offering passengers seatback inflight entertainment, and a Premium cabin offering more than a metre of legroom, complimentary meal service and airport lounge access. Flights are now on sale at www.norwegian.com.

The airline, which first launched its low-cost long-haul services from Gatwick in July 2017, now serves 13 global long-haul destinations from Gatwick, including nine US cities, Singapore and Buenos Aires. Over 1.5 million UK passengers have now flown low-cost long-haul with Norwegian since July 2014, it said.

British Airways first to offer direct flights from London to Austin

British Airways, the UK’s national carrier, is set to become the first and only airline to offer direct flights from London to Austin in Texas from 2014.

In early March 2014, the airline will fly its brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner to the Texan capital, starting with five flights a week and offering daily flights from May 5.

Lynne Embleton, British Airways’ director of strategy, said: ‘The addition of the Airbus A380s and Boeing 787 Dreamliners to our fleet enables us to start new routes and increase services to a number of our destinations.’

‘We’re excited to be the only airline offering direct flights from London to Austin. ‘We believe it will prove very popular with both business and leisure customers and will be our third route to Texas, after Houston and Dallas,’ she said, adding: ‘In the pioneering spirit of the Lone Star state, we are flying there in one of the world’s most advanced aircraft, the 787, to encourage more business with the scores of hi-tech businesses based in Austin’s ‘Silicon Hills’.’

Austin now features in the British Airways sale, with prices starting from GBP3,609 in Club World (business class), GBP891 return in World Traveller Plus (premium economy) and GBP511 return in World Traveller (economy).

Additionally, British Airways is planning to expand its summer 2014 schedule, which starts from March 30, 2014, with several long-haul flights.

The airline will increase its flights to Seoul, South Korea, from six services a week to daily. It is also increasing flights to Accra in Ghana. Starting winter 2013/14, an additional three flights per week are being introduced, bringing the total number of weekly services up to 10.

From summer 2014, BA is also set to increase connections between London and Tel Aviv with the introduction of a daily four-cabin Boeing 777-200, and for the first time Premium customers will also, be able to fly in the airline’s First cabin between London and Jeddah, when a four-cabin Boeing 777 replaces the existing three-cabin Boeing 767 service.

Travellers to Entebbe will be offered improved flight times, with services increased from 3 to 4 flights a week. Seattle flights will be increased from 10 to 11 flights a week from summer 2014.

British Airways will announce its summer 2014 short-haul schedule in the next few weeks.

The airline has ordered 24 787s, 12 A380s and 6 additional 777-300ERs. Over the next 12 months, it will take delivery of a new aircraft at the rate of one per fortnight.

Fairmont Hotels Announces New Fairmont Austin Hotel

Canada-based Fairmont Hotels & Resorts will be opening a new Fairmont Hotel in Austin, US, in 2015.

The company has entered into an agreement to operate the new Fairmont Austin, which will open in three years time. The new hotel, to be developed for an investment of £226.5 million, will be located close to the Austin Convention Centre, and will be featuring around 1,000 guestrooms and suites.

The 50-story hotel is being developed by Manchester Texas Financial Group LLC (MTFG), and will also be providing around 70,000 square feet of function space

Doug Manchester, the president of MTFG, said, ‘Fairmont represents one of the strongest and most luxurious brands in the hospitality industry. Our alliance with Fairmont will establish a new high water mark for convention centre hotels industry-wide. We diligently set out to find the right operator that was willing to go above and beyond with a special vision tailored for the Austin market. Fairmont is doing just that.’

The hotel will generate around 1,000 permanent jobs to the Austin market, once it is operational.

Jennifer Fox, the president of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, said, ‘For over a century, Fairmont has been host to legendary meetings and special events across the globe and we are excited to bring our broad range of experience in the meetings arena to this project. Austin is currently seeing tremendous interest and growth in the convention market and with its reputation as a dynamic, vibrant capital city will be a great addition to our portfolio.’