Fast-expanding low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian plans to take nine Boeing 787-9s and its first 737 MAX in 2017, using some  extra capacity to add its first long-haul, low-cost flights between the UK and non-US destinations.

The Oslo-based LCC said 2017 will be its “busiest ever year,” with over 30 aircraft deliveries, including its first 737 MAX, which is scheduled to arrive during the summer.

“Norwegian will become the first European airline to fly the new Boeing 737 MAX this summer to kick-start a new era in transatlantic travel. These single-aisle aircraft can fly longer distances, offering customers potential never before seen routes from Europe to the east coast of the US at very attractive fares. Norwegian plans to announce a series of transatlantic routes from UK cities to the US east coast early in 2017,” the airline said.

This summer, Norwegian will increase its UK-US flights by 55%, totaling 34 direct weekly flights from London Gatwick. These routes include Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland-San Francisco and Orlando.

While Norwegian already serves Bangkok from Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm, all its UK-originating long-haul routes are transatlantic. “Norwegian plans to announce its first [UK] non-US long-haul routes later this year once plans are finalized,” the airline said.

In late 2016, Norwegian’s Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) was granted a US foreign air carrier permit after three years of waiting, giving the airline access to transatlantic flights using an European Union air operator’s certificate.

Victoria Moores victoria.moores@penton.com