Norwegian budget carrier to establish Gatwick base

Low cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle is to establish a new base at Gatwick next spring.

Several Mediterranean destinations and Scandinavia will be served, although details have yet to be announced.

The airline plans to start its operations at Gatwick with three Boeing 737-800s, increasing to four aircraft by the end of the year.

The first flights will commence in spring 2013. Pilots and cabin crew will be recruited locally.

The carrier said it sees a major passenger potential in London and surrounding areas.

Chief executive Bjørn Kjos said: “By establishing a new base in London, Norwegian will be positioned to meet the future competition on short-haul routes within Europe as well as long-haul routes globally.

“Growth and volumes are necessary to stay competitive in the airline industry.”

Norwegian is already runs more than 100 weekly departures between the Nordic region Gatwick.

London is Norwegian’s most popular destination outside its home market.

Norwegian will also establish a new base of operations at Alicante in Spain in addition to already established bases at Malaga and Las Palmas.

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