Norwegian to make London Gatwick and Alicante new operational bases

Norwegian Air Shuttle ( (Oslo) is upgrading its presence at both London (Gatwick) and Alicante to operational bases. The company issued this statement (translated from Norwegian):

In the spring of 2013 Norwegian establishes an additional European base, this time in London. The company will also establish a base in Alicante, Spain. From the base in London, Norwegian will offer a range of direct services to popular destinations around the Mediterranean and in the North. With the new base in England, the company will be well positioned to meet the competition from Asian and European airlines in the long distance market.

The new base is established at London Gatwick, where Norwegian is already a significant player. With more than 100 flights a week, is the company’s largest destination outside the Nordic region. Norwegian see a large passenger potential of several million travelers from London and surrounding areas. The base in Alicante will serve an important part of Norwegian’s Spanish production, similar to the already established bases in Malaga and Las Palmas.

The Company will place three Boeing 737-800 aircraft on the London base of the start-up phase, and then expand to four in the latter part of 2013. The first flights are planned for the summer 2013 program that starts at the beginning of april. Pilots and cabin crew recruited locally.

The background to the establishment is to position Norwegian facing future competition both on short-haul intra-European and long-haul market. Growth and volume necessary to be competitive in today’s international aviation industry. Growth must also be outside the region. While it is expected that the largest growth in traffic and tourist flows in the future come from Asia into Europe. Should we as a Scandinavian airlines remain competitive and at the same time take advantage of the huge traffic growth must now position itself in Europe and Asia, said Norwegian’s CEO Bjorn Kjos.

Norwegian currently has operational bases in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Spain. A new base for Norwegian long-distance companies are being established in Bangkok.

On the financial side, the company issued this statement:

Norwegian reported a profit before tax of close to NOK 900 million. This is the company’s best quarterly results ever and an improvement of 187 million compared to the same period last year. New aircraft have saved the company 28 million NOK in fuel costs compared to the same quarter last year. The savings company itself offset by an extra bill of NOK 25 million as a result of a shortage of air traffic controllers in Norwegian Avinor.

In the third quarter, flew Norwegian nearly 5.2 million passengers. That’s 580,000 more than last year and also a new record for the company. The quarter was also characterized by a high load factor of 82 percent. Any passengers flew on average longer which is reflected in passenger traffic (RPK) increased by 17 percent in the third quarter, seat capacity (ASK) increased by 20 percent.

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Boeing 737-8JP LN-NOZ (msn 39420) arrives at London (Gatwick).

Norwegian Air Shuttle: