Norwegian plans to expand its long-haul fleet to 40 Boeing 787 Dreamliners by 2020.

Europe’s third-largest low-cost carrier, which is backing a second runway at Gatwick, is to lease an additional two 787-9s to help start more intercontinental routes.  

Both aircraft are due to be delivered in 2018, bringing the carrier’s long-haul fleet to 40 Dreamliners by 2020.

Norwegian currently operates eight 787-8 Dreamliners and one 787-9.

Chief executive Bjørn Kjos, confirming the new lease deal with provider AerCap, said: “In order to offer customers more routes and make our intercontinental operation even more competitive, we are dependent on more brand new cost-efficient aircraft.

“Our intercontinental operation is crucial to the company’s global growth and the creation of new jobs.

“The Dreamliner is a great airplane with high passenger comfort, long range, low fuel burn and reduced emissions.”