Norwegian has welcomed news that its British subsidiary ‘Norwegian UK’ (NUK) has been given tentative approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) for a foreign air carrier permit. The approval reaffirms that the NUK application is in full compliance with the EU–US Open Skies Agreement.
When finalised by the DOT, the permit will allow Norwegian’s UK subsidiary to operate low-cost flights between the U.S. and Europe.
Norwegian flies from five UK airports (Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast) carrying over 5 million UK passengers each year to more than 50 destinations. Following a detailed application with the Civil Aviation Authority, the ‘Norwegian UK’ (NUK) subsidiary was set up in November 2015 and allows Norwegian to build on its growing UK operation by accessing bilateral traffic rights to a series of global markets – NUK has already announced plans for new flights from London Gatwick to Singapore, starting in September and Argentina starting in February 2018.
Once final approval is received from the US authorities, Norwegian UK will be able to establish a seamless operation and more effectively utilise its long-haul fleet – this includes the use of the same aircraft on all long-haul routes such as the U.S., Singapore, Argentina and other future long-haul markets Norwegian is looking at in Asia and South America.
Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos said:“Tentative US approval for our UK subsidiary takes us a positive step towards being able to offer millions of passengers even more new routes and lower fares. We look forward to final DOT approval for Norwegian UK’s foreign air carrier permit soon, allowing us to continue delivering more flights, more choice and more jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Norwegian in the UK:
- Norwegian carries 5.2 million UK passengers each year from London Gatwick, Edinburgh, Belfast, 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
- Norwegian is the only airline to offer free inflight WiFi on UK flights to Europe
- 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 five consecutive years at SkyTrax World Airline Awards from 2013-2017, along with being awarded the ‘World's best low-cost long-haul airline’ in 2015, 2016 and 2017