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Cheap US flights from London Gatwick launch as another Norwegian airline takes off

Norse Atlantic is planning several new routes to the US this year 


Norse Atlantic Airways. Photo: Life in Norway

Norse Atlantic Airways. Photo: Life in Norway

Norse Atlantic Airways. Photo: Life in Norway

Holidaymakers facing soaring air fares to the US may be able to snap up a bargain after another Norwegian airline announced new summer routes from London Gatwick.

Norse Atlantic will link the Sussex airport with Washington Dulles from June 1.

On June 30, daily flights will begin from Gatwick to Los Angeles. The following day, a thrice-weekly link with San Francisco takes off.

All flights will use the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

The routes are in addition to an existing link with New York JFK, and previously announced flights to two Florida destinations: Orlando from May 25 and Fort Lauderdale from May 26.

The latter destination offers a cut-price alternative to Miami, which is about 32km south.

At the height of summer, Norse Atlantic will fly 36 times a week from London Gatwick to the US.

The route network has striking similarities to that operated by Norwegian until the coronavirus pandemic. The carrier abandoned transatlantic routes from Gatwick, Dublin and Cork as it faced extreme financial pressure.

Since the Covid crisis, many transatlantic air fares are far higher than in 2019. The move is likely to offer families a cheaper option compared with flights from London Heathrow on BA and Virgin Atlantic. 

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It will also spark a competitive response from rivals. A US carrier, jetBlue already flies from Gatwick to New York JFK.

From Ireland, Icelandic budget carrier PLAY has been offering transatlantic options with a stop in its Reykjavik hub, while a new airline Fly Atlantic, has similar hub plans from Belfast International

Bjorn Tore Larsen, chief executive of Norse Atlantic Airways, said: “This marks an important moment for consumers as we celebrate serving more destinations to the US from London Gatwick this summer than any other airline.

“The addition of direct flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington and Boston to our already popular New York, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale/Miami services will provide greater choice and value for consumers.”

The chief executive of Gatwick, Stewart Wingate, said: “The new services mean Gatwick and Norse will provide an increasingly competitive offering, which is great news for passengers across London and the South East, as well as businesses in the region.

“Long-haul routes, particularly in North America, are a hugely important aspect of our strategy, especially as we look to return to pre-Covid levels of passengers and destinations.

"For Norse to demonstrate such commitment to Gatwick highlights the incredibly strong demand for our slots and we look forward to welcoming more long-haul routes in coming months.”

Norse Atlantic will also launch five flights a week to Boston, from September 2, which will compete against jetBlue.

The airline network analyst Sean Moulton said: “Gatwick lost numerous US links due to the collapse of Norwegian and Norse have decided that some are worth a return to.

“However, the battle won’t be easy – jetBlue are competitive on Boston and carriers have increased Heathrow-LA and San Francisco, meaning it will be challenging to match the legacy carriers.

“Washington DC is an interesting add given Norwegian never served the route and the market is heavily orientated towards business over leisure travellers. Can Norse promote the city for leisure travellers?”

British Airways also has a busy network from Gatwick to Florida.

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