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Press release -

Sir Ernest Shackleton takes to the skies as Norwegian’s latest tail fin hero

Antarctic explorer graces airline’s aircraft

Norwegian is proud to announce that Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton is the airline's latest tail fin hero. The renowned explorer’s portrait graces the tail fin of a Norwegian Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft which has taken to the skies this month.

Since Norwegian’s first aircraft took to the skies, the airline has always honoured iconic figures on the tails of its aircraft, using 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 5.8 million UK passengers each year to more than 50 destinations, the airline has launched a series of UK tail fin heroes. Sir Ernest Shackleton has become Norwegian’s seventh UK tail fin hero, following the announcement of poet Robert Burns, rock legend Freddie Mercury, author Jane Austen, footballer Bobby Moore, children’s authorRoald Dahl, pioneering pilot Amy Johnson and aviation maverick Sir Freddie Laker.

Sir Ernest Shackleton, born in 1874, was a renowned polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic. His most celebrated was the ‘Endurance’ expedition of 1914 – 16 which planned to cross Antarctica via the South Pole. In 1915 the ‘Endurance’ become trapped in the ice and ten months later sank. Shackleton’s crew had abandoned the ship to live on the floating ice and in April 1916 they set off in three small boats which were sailed to Elephant Island. Taking five crew members, including Irish Explorer Tom Crean - who was announced as Norwegian’s first Irish tailfin hero last year, Shackleton went to find help. The six men spent 16 days crossing 1,300 km of ocean to reach South Georgia and then climbed the unmapped and mountainous island to a whaling station and organised a rescue effort. Thanks to Sir Ernest Shackleton not a single member of the 28-strong team died during the nearly two years they were stranded.

Norwegian’s Chief Commercial Officer, Thomas Ramdahl said: “As Norwegian continues its rapid expansion in the UK, our tail fin heroes offer us a perfect chance to pay tribute to some of the greatest Britons of all time. Sir Ernest Shackleton has inspired generations and we are very happy to have one of the greatest explorers of all time adorn our aircraft.”

Alexandra Shackleton, Granddaughter said: How splendid that my Grandfather Ernest Shackleton is going to be a tail fin hero. There were strong ties of respect and affection between him and Norway, personified by his relationship with Nansen & Amundsen. Grandfather’s Ship ‘Endurance’ was also built in Sandefjord, Norway. I am delighted that Norwegian have chosen to honour him this way and that the Shackleton legacy will continue.”

Europe’s third largest low-cost carrier flew 5.8 million passengers from the UK to over 50 global destinations. The airline has one of the youngest aircraft fleets in the world with an average age of 3.7 years, with more than 150 new aircraft on order. Norwegian has been awarded the ‘World's best low-cost long-haul airline’ for three consecutive years at the SkyTrax World Airline Awards.

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Norwegian in the UK and Ireland:

  • Norwegian carries 5.8 million UK passengers each year from London Gatwick, Edinburgh 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 1,000 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 11 U.S destinations, Buenos Aires and Singapore
  • In 2017, Norwegian also launched affordable transatlantic flights from Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Cork and Shannon to the US East Coast, using the brand new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft
  • 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 3.7 years, including next-generation Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing 737 MAX 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
  • Norwegian Reward is the airline's free to join award-winning loyalty programme offering members CashPoints and Rewards that reduce the cost of Norwegian flights

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Norwegian was founded in 1993 but began operating as a low-cost carrier with Boeing 737 aircraft in 2002. Since then, our mission has been to offer affordable fares for all and to allow customers to travel the smart way by offering value and choice throughout their journey.

Norwegian has been voted Europe’s Best Low-Cost airline by Skytrax for six consecutive years and won Airline Program of the Year Europe & Africa at the Freddie Awards for four consecutive years. Since 2012, Norwegian has won over 55 awards for our service, product, and innovation in the industry.

We were the first airline in the world to join the UN Climate Secretariat’s climate action-initiative in 2019, pledging to work systematically to become carbon neutral by 2050.

Norwegian operates a short haul network across the Nordics and to key European destinations providing customers with excellent quality at affordable fares.