Norwegian is headed to Singapore. The carrier will launch service from its London Gatwick hub to the Asian city-state on 28 September 2017, flying 4x weekly to Changi airport. The service will increase to 5x weekly with the Winter 17 IATA season that starts in late October. Introductory fares start at 179 GBP one-way in economy and 699 GBP in the company’s Premium cabin. The new service is the second destination Norwegian will serve in Asia, adding to its longstanding Bangkok service.
The Singapore service faces competition from British Airways and Singapore Airlines, with a combined six daily flights between the two from London’s Heathrow airport to Singapore split between A380s and 777s. That is significant capacity already in the market such that Norwegian’s addition is not massive, but at the low price end of the market it could be enough to poach some customers. Perhaps more significant is the Premium offering. Norwegian’s forward cabin sits in between the Business Class and Premium Economy offerings of the incumbent carriers, with significant space but not a true flat-bed. If the pricing holds near what BA and SQ are charging for their Premium Economy seats it could be a particularly compelling option in that segment.
The route is the first to Asia from London and the first long-haul route to be operated by the Norwegian UK subsidiary. The 787 Dreamliner aircraft flying the route will be UK-registered and staffed from the airline’s Gatwick crew base. Prior long-haul expansion at Gatwick focused heavily on service to the United States. The company currently flies from London to Boston, New York, Oakland, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles. Seattle and Denver service launch later this year. Diversifying away from the US market into other parts of the world makes a certain amount of sense for the rapidly growing carrier.
Header image: Norwegian 787 image courtesy of the airline (CC-SA)
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