The CEO of low-cost carrier Norwegian says that the airline would base over 150 new aircraft at Gatwick airport should approval for a second runway be given.
Speaking at The Aviation Club in London, Bjorn Kjos gave his backing for expnsion at Gatwick, and said that Norwegian would base over 50 Dreamliner aircraft and 100 short-haul aircraft at the airport.
Kjos said that a new runway at the airport would “allow us to be even more ambitious in our plans for long-haul growth in the UK”, creating a “truly global low-cost network serving a range of established and emerging markets”.
He added that to feed long-haul growth Norwegian would also base two short-haul aircraft at the airport for every Dreamliner, a commitment which would see over 100 short-haul Norwegian aircraft located at Gatwick.
“These may sound like big numbers but they reflect the huge opportunities we are presented with – Gatwick is being ambitious in its plans for a 2nd runway, so it is only right that airlines should show equal ambition,” said Kjos.
“It also makes commercial sense – Gatwick’s costs are at the right price for us to continue offering lower fares, and their location gives us access to a catchment area of 18million people,” he added.
Norwegian currently operates a fleet of nine Boeing Dreamliners, and took delivery of its first of the stretched B787-9 version of the aircraft last month (see news February 25).
The carrier will launch flights from Gatwick to Boston on March 27 (see news December 8, 2015), adding to existing US services to New York, LA, Fort Lauderdale and Orlando from the airport. Norwegian is currently the third largest carrier at Gatwick airport.
Outside of Gatwick Norwegian has also announced the addition of new flights from Manchester to Alicante, Barcelona and Malaga for this summer, as well as a new route from Edinburgh to Barcelona.