The boss of budget airline Norwegian said today the UK will be central to the carrier's expansion plans as he outlined aims to grow long-haul flights from the UK to destinations including Tokyo and Beijing.
Speaking today in London, Bjorn Kjos said the airline is plotting further route expansion from the capital to South America and Asia, as its first flight from Gatwick to Buenos Aires kicks off tomorrow.
The UK will be at the heart of our continued global expansion and we remain fully committed to the market.
We are launching long-haul routes exclusively from London Gatwick, introducing our newest Dreamliners to Gatwick and increasing frequency on popular routes which reflects the growing importance of the UK to the future of our business.
He added that UK passengers will be first to benefit from the airline's newest routes and efforts to improve passenger experience.
Kjos said Norwegian was exploring potential new routes to more South American countries thanks to strong ticket sales on the Buenos Aires route, as it eyes Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing on top of its Singapore route. Those rely on the airline receiving access to the Siberian corridor though, which Norwegian said would give it the most efficient and direct routing across Russia to the Far East.
The airline is also intending to appeal to a greater number of business passengers by bumping up long-haul frequencies. Norwegian said it is plugging investment into long-haul services that will provide a stronger proposition to business passengers.
Along with revamped Premium cabins, and the rollout of Wi-Fi on long-haul flights, Norwegian plans to increase frequency on key routes from London Gatwick to provide passengers with more flexibility. London to Buenos Aires will become a daily service this winter, while increases are planned for its LA and Fort Lauderdale routes.
"With huge global ambitions, we’re confident that the UK can offer Norwegian a springboard to further expansion as we aim to become the long-haul airline of choice for passengers seeking a high-quality service at great value," Kjos said.
In December, the airline picked up a cluster of extra Gatwick slots, which it plans to use from the summer.