Low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian will begin 4X-weekly London Gatwick-Seattle, Washington services from Sept.17, and 3X-weekly flights to Denver, Colorado from Sept. 16. The LCC plans to operate Boeing 787s, with up to 344 seats in a two-class configuration, on the routes.

Norwegian said the new destinations reflect the huge consumer demand on both sides of the Atlantic.

Norwegian CCO Thomas Ramdahl said its US flights are over 90% full and the Denver service will “break the monopoly on UK flights to Denver.”He added that Norwegian’s global expansion is also creating jobs in the air and on the ground in Europe and the US.

Norwegian carries 5.2 million UK passengers each year from London Gatwick, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester to 50 destinations.  Norwegian is the third largest airline at London Gatwick, with 4.6 million yearly passengers, and with more than 800 UK-based pilots and cabin crew. The LCC currently services nine US destinations.

In December 2016, Norwegian obtained permission from the US Department of Transportation to operate US services with its Ireland-based Norwegian Air International subsidiary. CEO Bjorn Kjos confirmed that two new US bases would be located in Providence, Rhode Island, and New York’s Stewart International Airport, in addition to existing bases in New York JFK and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airports.

This year, Kjos expects Norwegian will transport close to 35 million passengers on 500 routes.

Norwegian is Europe’s third-largest LCC, carrying 30 million passengers annually to more than 140 global destinations. The LCC operates 118 aircraft and has more than 260 aircraft on order. It plans to take delivery of nine Boeing 787s, six 737 MAXs and 17 737-800s this year.

Kurt Hofmann hofmann.aviation@netway.at