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Norwegian slashes long-haul airfares to the United States

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On Wednesday (July 2, 2014), Norwegian launched inaugral flights between London Gatwick and Los Angeles (LAX). Today, the company will celebrate its first London and New York flight, followed by flights to Fort Lauderdale on Friday. The new routes mark a milestone for the low-cost carrier, which has been operating to Bangkok from Oslo and Stockholm. Norwegian's introductory one-way fare from the UK to New York is approximately $255, LAX one way is $341, and Fort Lauderdale is $307 one way (plus baggage, seats and meals).

The fares are so low competing airlines are hot under their collars. A quick search for summer airfares on competing carriers shows the lowest round trip ticket prices to LAX from Gatwick ranging from $850 to $969. With fares like these, it's not surprising the new routes have been very well received both by Brits and Americans. The airline reports almost all of the 291 seats on Norwegian’s 787 Dreamliner have been booked on all the inaugural flights between London Gatwick and the three U.S. cities Los Angeles, New York and Fort Lauderdale.

”We are very happy to celebrate the first ever flights between the UK and the US. The travelling public deserves affordable fares and flexible tickets across the Atlantic. The transatlantic market has for too long been dominated by a few large airlines offering unreasonably high fares and restricted ticket flexibility,” said Norwegian’s CEO Bjørn Kjos. “We are very happy with the response to our service in the UK market with several fully booked flights in the coming months. We believe this proves that an airline offering quality flights at a low fare has been long awaited,” he added.

The low fares are largely from Norwegians choice of equipment. The Dreamliner is a low-fuel aircraft with long range capability. “Norwegian’s decision to establish links to key cities in North America including New York and Los Angeles offers passengers real choice and affordable travel. The launch also demonstrates the game-changing nature of the Dreamliner aircraft, which has less seats than older generation aircraft and therefore less reliance on transfer passengers," said Stewart Wingate, CEO of London Gatwick. "A two-runway Gatwick will best meet the needs of our rapidly changing aviation market, which looks very different today than it did even ten years ago. All of the signs point to Gatwick being the obvious choice for expansion.”

Norwegian's Flight Schedule

London – Los Angeles twice a week from July 2, 2014
Norwegian operates two weekly flights between London (LGW) and Los Angeles (LAX) – on Wednesdays and Sundays. The introductory fare is £199 one way.

London – New York three times a week from July 3, 2014
Norwegian operates three weekly flights between London (LGW) and New York (JFK) – on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The introductory fare is £149 one way.

London – Fort Lauderdale twice a week from July 4, 2014
Norwegian operates two weekly flights between London (LGW) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL) – on Mondays and Fridays. The introductory fare is £179 one way.Norwegian offers long-haul flights between the following destinations:

Routes from New York (JFK): Oslo (OSL), Stockholm (ARN), Copenhagen (CPH), Bergen (BGO) and London (LGW)

Routes from Fort Lauderdale (FLL): Oslo (OSL), Stockholm (ARN), Copenhagen (CPH) and London (LGW)

Routes from Los Angeles (LAX): Oslo (OSL), Stockholm (ARN), Copenhagen (CPH) and London (LGW)

Routes from San Francisco (OAK): Oslo (OSL) and Stockholm (ARN)

Routes from Orlando (MCO): Oslo (OSL)

Routes from Bangkok (BKK): Oslo (OSL) and Stockholm (ARN)