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Norwegian’s UK subsidiary given final approval by U.S. Department of Transportation for transatlantic operations

Press release   •   Sep 22, 2017 23:47 BST

Norwegian has welcomed news that its British subsidiary ‘Norwegian UK’ (NUK) has been granted a foreign air carrier permit by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The permit allows NUK to operate flights between the UK, Europe and the United States, effective immediately.

The ‘Norwegian UK’ (NUK) subsidiary was set up in 2015 to allow Norwegian to build on its growing long-haul operationsby accessing bilateral traffic rights to a series of global markets. Using the new traffic rights, Norwegian has already announced plans for new routes to Singapore launching in September and Argentina starting in February 2018.

With a U.S. foreign carrier permit also now received for NUK, Norwegian will be able to establish a seamless operation and more effectively utilise its long-haul fleet – this includes the use of the same aircraft across all long-haulroutes includingthe U.S., Singapore, Argentina and other future long-haul markets. Norwegian already employs more than 1,000 pilots and crew at London Gatwick, and the airline’s continued UK growth will lead to thousands more jobs and economic benefits.

Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos said: “This is great news for Norwegian and passengers on both sides of the Atlantic, enabling us to offer even more new routes, greater choice and lower fares. Our Norwegian UK subsidiary has already opened the door to a range of new markets, so securing access to the U.S is the final piece of the jigsaw, allowing us to operate a seamless operation with affordable fares to a range of global destinations.

“New routes will also lead to more jobs, and along with the 1,000 pilots and crew already working for us at London Gatwick, we look forward to creating thousands more jobs and economic benefits as we continue to grow.We would like to thank the many airports, airlines, businesses and politicians on both sides of the Atlantic for supporting for NUK and the huge benefits of Open Skies and fair competition.“

Work will now begin to establish which elements of Norwegian’s existing long-haul operations (including new and existing routes, aircraft and crew) will be operated by the NUK subsidiary in future.

Norwegian already flies from five UK airports (Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast) carrying over 5 million UK passengers each year to more than 50 destinations.

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Norwegian in the UK:

  • Norwegian carries 5.2 million UK passengers each year from London Gatwick, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester Airports to 50 destinations worldwide
  • Norwegian is the third largest airline at London Gatwick, with 4.6 million yearly passengers, and with more than 800 UK-based pilots and cabin crew
  • In 2014, Norwegian introduced the UK’s first low-cost, long haul flights to the U.S. - the airline now flies to 7 U.S destinations with fares from just £139 one way
  • Norwegian is the only airline to offer free inflight WiFi on UK flights to more than 30 European destinations
  • The airline has one of the youngest aircraft fleets in the world with an average age of 3.6 years, including next-generation Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Boeing 737-800s
  • Norwegian has been voted ‘Europe’s best low-cost carrier’ by passengers for four consecutive years at SkyTrax World Airline Awards from 2013-2016, along with being awarded the ‘World's best low-cost long-haul airline’ in both 2015 and 2016