31 July, 2018

Norwegian to deploy 737 MAX to Gatwick for Nordic routes

The long-haul and European low-cost airline Norwegian will be bringing the brand new Boeing 737 MAX single-aisle aircraft to its London Gatwick summer schedules this year the airline has confirmed today.

Recently rated as the World's Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline for four consecutive years at the renowned SkyTrax Awards, as well as Europe’s Best Low-Cost Airline for six consecutive years, the company is the European launch customer of the Boeing 737 MAX and is due to take delivery of 12 of the type before the end of the year. 

The carrier already has eight examples of the MAX jets in operation which are deployed on transatlantic routes from Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Cork and Shannon to New York Stewart International Airport and Providence Airport in Rhode Island near Boston.  

Norwegian has chosen to configure the Boeing 737 MAX with 189 leather slimline RECARO seats offering up to 30 inches pitch and 38 inches pitch in exit row seats on flights to the Nordics from London Gatwick. The aircraft will initially service selected flights to Helsinki, Oslo and Bergen with further plans to expand to other European routes following future deliveries of this aircraft.

Norwegian has big plans and rather than supporting European manufacturers and safeguarding European jobs, the airline has given that security to the American market and ordered more than 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft in addition to its troubled Dreamliner fleet. The company will be using the 737 MAX aircraft to replace older 737-800s.   “We’re committed to flying our customers in the newest aircraft in the skies and the addition of the Boeing 737 MAX at our London Gatwick hub complements our existing young, modern and environmentally friendly fleet." Said, Thomas Ramdahl, the Chief Commercial Officer at Norwegian, adding “Our 737 MAX aircraft are less than a year old and our passengers will be able to experience a high-quality service in new slimmer seats inside spacious cabins that are quieter for our passengers and the environment.”

Gatwick Airport’s Head of Airspace, Andy Sinclair, said: “We are fully committed to reducing noise for our local communities and will continue to work closely with our airline partners to support the introduction of quieter aircraft at Gatwick. The launch of this new Norwegian aircraft is another positive step for those affected by noise around the airport, as we expect the proportion of quieter aircraft at Gatwick to increase over the coming years.”

Norwegian is currently Europe’s third largest low-cost airline and carried more than 33 million passengers during 2017 on a global route network that spanned to over 150 destinations. It's also been in the headlines in recent months as it seeks a buyer,  British Airway's parent IAG has had two public bids rejected, Ryanair was approached but its boss Michael O'Leary called the airline a "dog", Wizz looked over the airline for possible investment opportunities, but it went no further than a detailed but general examination. Lufthansa's boss also confirmed they had been talking to Norwegian, although both remain tight-lipped about where those talks were heading.