Norwegian Air Gets UK Operating License

November 13, 2015

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Norwegian Air said Britain had given it the green light to start flying from the UK to new destinations outside Europe, in a development that will expand low-cost long-haul flights to and from the country.

Norwegian said it had been granted a UK Operating License which would open up new bilateral traffic rights so the airline can fly between its British bases and countries in Asia and South America, and to South Africa.

"Securing a UK Operating License is great news and an important step to get a stronger foothold in the UK as we plan for further expansion, new routes and new jobs," Norwegian's chief executive Bjorn Kjos said in a statement.

Norwegian in October ordered up to 29 additional Boeing 787s to expand its long-haul services. It already flies from London Gatwick to the United States.

Budget airlines dominate short-haul flying in Europe, but have struggled to be financially viable on long-haul travel where competition is already high and longer flying times mean fewer options to cut costs.

Norwegian is counting on its fuel-efficient 787s to help it grow in the low-cost long-haul market.

It plans to begin operating under the new license as "Norwegian UK" in the first quarter of 2016.