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​Roald Dahl set to take flight this weekend as Norwegian’s first ever British ‘tail fin hero’

Press Release   •   Sep 29, 2016 08:24 BST

It has been a case of ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ meets ‘Norwegian and the aircraft factory’ in an Oslo Airport hangar this week as Roald Dahl’s portrait has been applied to a brand new Boeing 737-800 aircraft, becoming Norwegian’s first ever British ‘tail-fin hero’.

With the author’s portrait now applied to the aircraft, the ‘World’s No.1 storyteller’ will take to the skies this weekend as Norwegian’s brand new aircraft takes off on its inaugural flight from Oslo on Saturday.

Norwegian already has more than 80 ‘tail fin heroes’ using iconic personalities who symbolise the spirit of Norwegian by pushing boundaries, challenging the norm and inspiring others. To reflect Norwegian’s rapid growth in the UK, where it now flies 4 million UK passengers each year to more than 40 destinations, the airline has selected Roald Dahl as its first British tail fin hero.

Born in Cardiff in 1916 and of Norwegian descent, Roald Dahl perfectly captures the essence of Norwegian’s tailfin heroes. Roald Dahl himself has an aviation background, joining the RAF at the age of 23 where he served as a fighter-pilot. After being injured in WW2, Dahl began writing for adults before turning his hand to children’s stories and has since became known as the ‘World’s No.1 storyteller’. This year marks 100 years since Roald Dahl’s birth and Norwegian’s ‘tail fin hero’ activity comes as part of the year-round global celebrations for Roald Dahl 100.

Thomas Ramdahl, Chief Commercial Officer said: "Selecting our first ever British tail fin hero is not only a mark of our huge plans for UK expansion, it is also a chance to recognise a truly heroic British figure. Roald Dahl has inspired generations of adults and children and as the world celebrates his centenary, it is a great honour to have this world-famous author adorn our aircraft.”

Bernie Hall, Brand Marketing Manager, RDLE: “Roald Dahl is widely regarded as the world’s number one storyteller. Many elements of his universally-loved stories are said to have roots in the Norwegian tales that he heard from his family and from visits to Norway as a child. To be recognised for his connection to Norway in this centenary year, and for him to be made the first British tailfin for Norwegian, is something we are extremely proud of.”

The new aircraft featuring Roald Dahl is Norwegian’s 13th new Boeing 737-800 this year. In total, Norwegian will take delivery of 17 Boeing 737-800 aircraft and four 787-9 Dreamliners in 2016. The delivery of new aircraft and phasing out of older planes means that Norwegian have one of the youngest and greenest fleets in Europe with an average age of just 3.6 years.

Norwegian in the UK:

  • Norwegian first launched UK flights in 2003 and now operates from London Gatwick, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester Airports to more than 40 destinations worldwide
  • Norwegian is the third largest airline at London Gatwick, with 3.9 million yearly passengers, and with more than 700 pilots, cabin crew and staff working from its Gatwick base
  • In 2014, Norwegian introduced the UK’s first low-cost, long haul flights to the U.S. - the airline now flies to 8 U.S destinations with fares from just £135 one way
  • Norwegian is the only airline to offer free inflight WiFi on UK flights to more than 30 European destinations
  • 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