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Norwegian Air To Launch Long-haul Flights

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Budget carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle will launch long-haul operations next year with flights to Bangkok and New York, taking on battered Nordic carrier SAS on yet another front.

Norwegian will start the new services from its bases in Oslo and Stockholm in the second quarter when it receives the first of eight Boeing 787 Dreamliners. One-way tickets to New York will start at NOK999 Norwegian kroner (USD$170).

It will also establish a base in Bangkok where it can operate at a much lower cost, the company said on Thursday.

Norwegian has been a rare success story in an industry struggling with high costs, expensive fuel and crippling legacy costs. It placed the biggest-ever aircraft order by a European airline this year with a deal for 222 planes worth USD$21.5 billion at list prices.

While Norwegian thrives - its fleet will grow 18 percent next year - rival SAS has been trying to come up with a restructuring plan to keep its creditors on board.

(Reuters)

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