Norwegian is claiming the cheapest flights between the UK and Las Vegas with the start of a twice-weekly service.

Fares on the route from Gatwick start at £179 one-way with departures on Mondays and Thursdays, designed to enable weekend breaks in the US gambling hotspot.

Las Vegas is Norwegian’s third long-haul route to be introduced from Gatwick this year, following Oakland – San Francisco and Boston.

Flights will be operated by the airline’s two-class Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.

Chief commercial officer Thomas Ramdahl said: “We are pleased to launch the UK’s cheapest direct route to Las Vegas.

“Our great value fares offer more choice and flexibility for the British public wanting to travel to Nevada on any budget.

“This year has been our busiest yet at Gatwick with the addition of three new direct transatlantic routes, as well as extra frequency and capacity on our existing network.”

Rossi Ralenkotter, president and chief executive of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said: “Las Vegas welcomed a record-breaking 42.3 million visitors in 2015, with the UK representing our largest overseas market, and we look forward to welcoming additional British travellers to the destination with the addition of this convenient nonstop service.”

Gatwick chief commercial officer Guy Stephenson said: “Las Vegas has long been a popular destination with Gatwick’s passengers.

“This, the newest long-haul service from Gatwick, will increase the choice of flights available to those travelling to one of the USA’s most exciting cities.

“Norwegian’s route joins more than 50 other long-haul services from the airport, including most recently new routes to China, Peru, Canada, Costa Rica, Nigeria, South Africa as well as the US.”