Norwegian Dreamliners to serve London – Singapore route

Norwegian LCC Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian) announced that it will launch new low-cost non-stop services connecting London Gatwick (LGW) and Singapore Changi (SIN) on September 28, 2017. It will use a 344-seat Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft in a two-class configuration offering economy and premium cabins.

The airline will initially fly four times per week, with plans for a fifth flight during Northern Winter Season, according to a statement from Changi Airport.

“Our transatlantic flights have shown the huge demand for affordable long-haul travel, so we are delighted to expand into new markets and offer our first route to Asia from the UK, Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said. “Travel should be affordable for all so adding Singapore to our growing UK network will give passengers even more choice for affordable, quality travel to a range of global destinations. The UK is at the heart of Norwegian’s ambitious plans for growth so it is a significant moment not only to launch this exciting new route, but also for it to be the first long-haul route to take to the skies with our new ‘Norwegian UK’ subsidiary,” added Kjos.

‘Norwegian’ expansion

In less than three weeks, the airline announced two major plans. Earlier in April, Bjorn Kjos said that the airline will establish a new venture in Argentina with a fleet of 10 Boeing 737s by the end of 2017.

According to Bloomberg, Norwegian has applied for an air operation certificate (AOC) from the Argentinian authorities and expects to serve domestic flights within the country of Tango. The new airline will be based in Buenos Aires and linked up with Norwegian’s trans-Atlantic flights from such European cities as London, Paris, Barcelona, Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

The new service to Singapore, in addition, shows the realization of the LCC’s plan to establish a second hub in Asia after Bangkok.

Previously, the airline announced that it will start 10 new trans-Atlantic routes connecting Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland with second-tier US airports on new B737 MAXs. The new routes will be launched this summer.

The airline now operates a fleet of 123 aircraft and serves 450 routes to 150 destinations in 36 countries.

Adding the busy routes

The London – Singapore route is one of the popular routes served by Changi Airport.  According to the Singapore airport authority, with the launch of this new service, the number of weekly flights from Singapore to London will increase to 50. This translates into an addition of 1,720 (+11%) one-way seats weekly. London is Changi Airport’s 14th busiest route, with over 1.2 million passengers travelling between the two cities in 2016.

“We are delighted to welcome Norwegian to Changi’s portfolio of airlines in September,” Changi Airport Group’s CEO Lee Seow Hiang said. “It will enhance options for Changi Airport’s passengers as well as attract more UK visitors to Singapore. With changing consumer preferences and an improvement in aircraft technology, low-cost carriers have taken the opportunity to expand into the long-haul market.”

Currently the non-stop route is mainly served by Singapore Airlines (SIA) and British Airways (BA), with Singapore Airlines serving four times daily and British Airways serving twice daily. SIA employs Boing 777-300ER for the London service, while BA flies Airbus A380.