Benjamin Franklin to be the first American tailfin hero for Norwegian

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) has started the process of “Americanizing” the tails of some of its newest aircraft despite the on-going pushback by U.S. majors and unions of their expanding lower-cost service to the United States. Norwegian issued this statement and image:

Norwegian has announced Benjamin Franklin as its first American tailfin hero. The inventor and statesman, who was often called the “first American” because of his tireless campaigning to unify the colonies, will adorn the airline’s newest Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. The new American hero will serve the new transatlantic routes from Edinburgh, Belfast, Cork, Shannon and Dublin to the US East Coast.

Since its founding, Norwegian has always honored iconic, historical figures on the tails of its aircraft. Each person who is featured on a tailfin embodies Norwegian’s spirit of pushing boundaries, inspiring others and challenging the status quo. To commemorate Norwegian’s expansion in the United States, the airline will introduce a series of American icons over the next few months. Norwegian now offers 23 direct routes to the U.S. from six airports in the UK and Ireland.

Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston, Massachusetts and relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in his late teens where he later started a successful printing business. Additionally, he was an inventor, statesman and a leading figure in American history. Franklin is best known as one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and authors of the Declaration of Independence.

The new aircraft featuring Benjamin Franklin is Norwegian’s fourth Boeing 737 MAX aircraft this year. In total, Norwegian will take delivery of two additional Boeing 737 MAX aircraft from the 110 it has on order. The airline operates one of the world’s youngest fleets with an average age of just 3.6 years.

Norwegian is Europe’s third largest low-cost carrier, carrying 30 million yearly passengers to more than 140 global destinations.

In other news, Norwegian’s first transatlantic flights using the brand-new Boeing 737 MAX took off from Edinburgh this past weekend, with British aviation maverick Sir Freddie Laker featuring as the aircraft’s tail fin hero (EI-FYA) (above).

The pioneer of low-cost long-haul travel’s portrait is emblazoned on the tail fin of Norwegian’s brand new 737 MAX, Boeing’s newest aircraft type. The Sir Freddie Laker 737 MAX departed Edinburgh for the first time on Saturday evening to Hartford, Connecticut and serviced yesterday afternoon’s flight from Edinburgh to Stewart Intl. in New York.

Norwegian’s brand new 737 MAX offers up to 189 seats and a longer range which allows the airline to serve smaller cities on both sides of the Atlantic and offer truly affordable fares. The airline always honours iconic figures on the tails of its aircraft, featuring personalities who reflect the spirit of Norwegian through innovation, pioneering achievement and inspiring others.

Sir Freddie Laker was born in Canterbury in 1922 andhad a long career in aviation, working for aircraft manufacturer Short Brothers, delivering military aircraft during World War Two, and setting up several airline ventures post-war. Sir Freddie was best known for founding Laker Airways and the ‘Skytrain’ service which first took to the air in September 1977, offering flights from London Gatwick to New York JFK for the then ground-breaking fare of £59.

Laker was a popular public figure and knighted by the UK Government in 1978 for services to the airline industry. As one of the first people to challenge established airlines by applying a ‘low-cost’ model to air travel, Laker set the template for the many ‘low-cost carriers’ that dominate modern-day aviation – his pioneering approach also coming long before the huge benefits of efficient new aircraft, the internet marketplace and more liberalised industry that modern airlines can now take advantage of.

Sir Freddie’s legacy has been a clear inspiration to Norwegian’s own low-cost long-haul growth which has now expanded to more than 50 transatlantic routes between Europe and the U.S. Last month, Norwegian launched 12 new routes from the UK and Ireland to the US East Coast, using the brand-new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

Additionally, Irish Antarctic explorer Tom Crean (above) has taken to the skies this weekend as a brand new aircraft featuring Norwegian’s first ever Irish tail fin hero went into service for the first time.

The explorer’s portrait appears on one of Norwegian’s brand new 737MAX aircraft (EI-FYB) which is flying for the first time this weekend. The Tom Crean aircraft took off from Belfast International Airport on Saturday afternoon, landing in Stewart International Airport in New York last night. Earlier this morning, the aircraft landed back in Dublin Airport and will fly back to New York later on Sunday afternoon.

Norwegian has always honored iconic figures on the tails of its aircraft, featuring personalities who symbolise the spirit of Norwegian through innovation, pioneering achievement and inspiring others.

The Tom Crean tail fin appears on Norwegian’s brand new 737MAX aircraft which will serve new transatlantic routes from Cork, Shannon and Dublin which began earlier this month.

Born in County Kerry in 1877, Tom Crean joined the Royal Navy aged just 15, quickly becoming recognised as an accomplished sailor. In 1901, a chance encounter with Robert Falcon Scott saw Crean join Captain Scott’s ship ‘Discovery’ for an exploration into the unchartered Antarctica waters – it would become the first of several polar expeditions undertaken by Crean that led him to become known as one of Ireland’s greatest Antarctic explorers.

It was during one of these missions that Crean undertook his ‘Impossible march’ and what became recognised as the greatest act of bravery in Antarctic exploration history. Having been on the march for 1,500 miles, one of Crean’s companions collapsed 35 miles from safety – Crean volunteered to go for help, completing a final 18 hour leg of the journey alone through sub-zero temperatures. Crean’s solo exploits saved his companion and saw him awarded The Albert Medal for his heroism by King George. Crean would also go on to receive the Polar Medal three times for his Antarctic endeavours.

Crean’s modest and humble personality meant that it is only in recent years that his extraordinary career received widespread public recognition, including a bestselling book about his life and even a Guinness TV advert created in his honour. Nicknamed the ‘Irish Giant’ for his strength and stature as well as his leadership qualities, Crean perfectly captures the essence of Norwegian’s tailfin heroes.

Images: Norwegian.

 

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