- Game-changing Dreamliner aircraft enables Norwegian to offer low cost transatlantic flights to New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale
- Fares from just £149 one way to New York underline the continued growth of low cost carriers and prove that the aviation market has changed
- Gatwick CEO: “The Airports Commission must make decisions based on emerging trends and the way modern travellers want to fly. All of the signs point to Gatwick being the obvious choice for expansion.”
Norwegian Air Shuttle has launched low cost, long haul services on the ‘hub busting’ Dreamliner aircraft between London Gatwick and the USA. Passengers can now enjoy the most competitive fares on transatlantic routes including Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL).
After Europe, the US is the UK’s biggest trading partner and accounts for 40% of the London long haul market each year¹. From this week, Norwegian’s new services will help drive competition on these popular routes. However, they also offer proof of emerging aviation trends that will have a major bearing on the airports expansion debate.
Today, the low cost market is the fastest growing airline sector – with forecasts showing this will continue as passengers make the most of competitive fares, great service and slick operations carriers such as Norwegian offer. This week, for the first time in more than 30 years low cost travel to the USA is available to passengers. Fares are available from just £149 one way to New York, £179 to Fort Lauderdale and £199 to Los Angeles.
This has been made possible thanks to a new generation of exceptionally fuel efficient, long range aircraft. Modern ‘hub busting’ aircraft such as the Dreamliner have fewer seats to fill, making direct long haul routes more economically viable for airlines. They will further increase direct travel while reducing the need for connecting traffic across London – which is already the richest point-to-point market globally.
Additionally, the airlines’ own order books demonstrate the difference they expect new generation aircraft to make. Across all airlines, orders for the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and its competitor the Airbus A350 vastly outweigh other types of larger aircraft. Today there are more than 1,800 of these new aircraft on order compared to around 222 A380s and 787s – a sure sign of the change.
Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick, said: “Norwegian’s launch of low cost services to the US clearly demonstrates the game-changing nature of the Dreamliner. The new generation of long haul aircraft have fewer seats and are therefore less reliant on transfer passengers. This is yet another example of how the importance of transfer traffic will continue to decline.
“Times are changing and the Airports Commission must make decisions based on emerging trends and the way modern travellers want to fly. A two-runway Gatwick would meet the needs of a rapidly changing aviation market, which looks very different today than it did even ten years ago. All of the signs point to Gatwick being the obvious choice for expansion.”
Bjørn Kjos, CEO of Norwegian Air Shuttle, said: “We are delighted to launch our US services from London Gatwick this week. A more competitive transatlantic market can only be good news for passengers, in the same way competition between airports in London leads to more choice and better service. To meet the demands of all passengers in the future, and ensure an excellent choice of routes and fares, a new runway must be built at Gatwick.”
Notes to Editors
- The first service to Los Angeles (LAX) commenced 2 July 2014, services to New York (JFK) begin on 3 July 2014 and flights to Fort Lauderdale (FLL) begin on 4 July 2014.
- There are two services a week to Los Angeles, three to New York and two to Fort Lauderdale.
- Fares are available from just £149 one way to New York, £179 to Fort Lauderdale and £199 to Los Angeles.
- The Norwegian Dreamliner offers 291 seats including 259 in economy and 32 in premium economy.
For more information contact:
Gatwick Airport press office
t: + 44 (0) 1293 505000
About Gatwick Airport
Gatwick Airport is the UK’s second largest airport and the most efficient single-runway airport in the world. It serves more than 200 destinations in 90 countries for more than 40 million passengers a year on short and long-haul point-to-point services. It is also a major economic driver for the South East region, generating around 21,000 on-airport jobs and a further 10,000 jobs through related activities. The airport is south of Central London with excellent public transport links, including the Gatwick Express, and is part of the Oyster contactless payment network. Gatwick Airport is owned by a group of international investment funds, of which Global Infrastructure Partners is the largest shareholder.
The Government has indicated it will make a decision this year on whether Gatwick airport should be expanded. Gatwick’s second runway will deliver the UK the same number of passengers, the same number of long haul routes, better UK and regional connections, and the economic boost the UK needs, all at a dramatically lower environmental impact, at less than half the cost of Heathrow, and with no public subsidy.
For further information on Gatwick Airport see www.gatwickairport.com or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Gatwick_Airport