European low-cost carrier Norwegian has revealed it will use its new Boeing 787 Dreamliners on a series of European routes during July and August before introducing the type on its new long-haul routes from Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm to destinations in Asia and North America. These new intercontinental routes were launched from May 30, 2013 and are initially being flown by two Airbus A340-300s wet-leased from Portuguese ACMI provider HiFly due to delays with the deliveries of its initial Dreamliners.
Norwegian has confirmed it is due to receive its first 787 by the end of June 2013 and will receive two additional aircraft in 2013, four more in 2014 and one in 2015. It has confirmed that the initial aircraft will be used on four key routes from its Oslo Gardermoen base from July 4, 2013 as the carrier completes crew training and in-service flight trials before the type makes its long-haul debut. The aircraft will replace a Boeing 737 on scheduled routes to Alicante, Barcelona, London Gatwick and Nice, enabling many passengers to experience the jet. “Scores of passengers will be able to enjoy the comfort of the new aircraft,” says the carrier.
“The launch of our intercontinental routes is an important milestone in Norwegian's history. Our goal is that even more passengers should afford to fly – also to other continents. The market for intercontinental flights has long been characterised by artificially high fares and limited flexibility. The reception of our new long-haul routes shows that many want to fly inexpensively and comfortably to New York, Bangkok and Fort Lauderdale.”Bjørn Kjos
Chief Executive Officer, Norwegian
The 787 will make its scheduled debut with Norwegian on July 4, 2013 when it will be introduced on the Malaga and London Gatwick routes. It will serve Malaga five times weekly and London Gatwick twice weekly, before being introduced on two weekly rotations to Alicante and Barcelona from July 5, 2013 and then on three times weekly rotations to Nice from July 6, 2013. According to its provisional schedule the 787 will provisionally be used on these routes until August 4, 2013 enabling final preparation for its long-haul debut later the same month.
Norwegian acquired the Dreamliner to support its growth into intercontinental markets but has been forced to initially launch these flights using wet-leased equipment following the recent grounding of the 787 and the resultant delays it has caused to new deliveries. These flights began on May 30, 2013 between Oslo and New York JFK with flights to the US city from Stockholm starting on May 31, 2013 and services between Oslo and Bangkok commencing on June 1, 2013.
“The launch of our intercontinental routes is an important milestone in Norwegian's history. Our goal is that even more passengers should afford to fly – also to other continents,” said Bjørn Kjos, Chief Executive Officer, Norwegian. “We are very happy for the great reception of our long-haul routes and that we finally - after years of planning - are able to welcome our first New York passengers on board. The market for intercontinental flights has long been characterised by artificially high fares and limited flexibility. The reception of our new long-haul routes shows that many want to fly inexpensively and comfortably to New York, Bangkok and Fort Lauderdale.”
Norwegian’s long-haul programme covers flights from Oslo and Stockholm to New York, Bangkok and Fort Lauderdale and from Copenhagen to Fort Lauderdale. The Dreamliner will make its debut on August 31, 2013 when it will be introduced on the carrier’s three times weekly services from Oslo and Stockholm to Bangkok. It will debut on the three times weekly Oslo – New York route from September 1, 2013 and three times weekly Stockholm – New York link from September 2, 2103. From November 29, 2013 a fourth weekly rotation will be added between Oslo and New York, while at the same time Norwegian will introduce twice weekly flights to Fort Lauderdale from Copenhagen (from November 29, 2013), Oslo (from November 30, 2013) and Stockholm (from December 1, 2013).