Norwegian moves Gatwick routes in US expansion

by Jerome Greer Chandler
December 04, 2018
Norwegian boosts US routes
A Norwegian Boeing 787. Photo: supplied.

Low-cost Norwegian is pulling its London Gatwick (LGW) service from a couple of key U.S. airports while at the same time preparing to boost European flights from Boston.

New services will start from Boston to Rome and Madrid while the low-fare wünderkind will pull its Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International (FLL)-London Gatwick service from summer 2019 and replace it with Gatwick-bound nonstops from the Miami International (MIA).

In making the move, Norwegian pares flights from what is arguably South Florida’s low-fare airport leader and migrates down the freeway to MIA, better known for its international connections.

See Stunning Air France 787 air-to-air video

Southwest, JetBlue, and Spirit have extensive operations out of FLL.

British Airways and Norwegian have been battling it out at FLL, while BA has also had been fielding seasonal service from Oakland, California to London Heathrow (LHR).

BA dropped its seasonal nonstop not long ago and Norwegian is moving its Oakland-London operation across San Francisco Bay, over to San Francisco International Airport (SFO).

That’s the minus part of the ledger. Here’s the plus part: Fort Lauderdale – Paris goes daily next summer and Oakland- Rome increases from the current two to three weekly departures at the same time.

What the airline industry and passengers alike are getting is that Norwegian is a force to be reckoned with, specifically when it comes to VFR (Visiting Friends and Family) and discretionary travel.

Although Norwegian’s fleet of Boeing 787 Dreamliners sports premium cabins, it is vacationers and discretionary passengers who are flocking to the carrier.

The fact file: Norwegian flies over 150 Boeing 787s’, 737-800s and 737 MAXs.

The average age of one of the upstart’s growing fleet is 3.7 years.

As if out of nowhere, Norwegian now ranks as the world’s sixth-largest low-cost airline, carrying some 33-million flyers in 2017.

Its growing network offers operates about 500 routes to about 150 destinations in Europe, North America. The Middle East, Thailand, the Caribbean, the United States and South America.