Norwegian set sights on cheap flights from Britain to Japan after launching £199 fares to Denver and Seattle
Cities in Japan, China and Africa could soon be reached by budget flights from the UK, with fares as low as £199, if one low-cost airline gets its way.
Norwegian is increasingly becoming a household name in the UK as one of the pioneers of the low-cost, long-haul revolution taking place in the industry. But its focus - along with the likes of WOWair and British Airways’ new sister carrier, Level - has been on transatlantic routes, linking Europe with major US cities.?????????
Now, Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos is turning his attention to popular destinations further afield: the Far East and Africa.
“It’s a huge opportunity,” he told Telegraph Travel. “Thailand is fairly well served but more like China and Japan, where you have lots of people living.”
“There are a lot of African countries that are very interesting for Europeans to fly to - beautiful countries - that have a huge potential.”Kjos cited Nigeria as a country with a large population but without the presence of a low-cost airline (it should be noted that some parts of the country are the subject of Foreign Office travel warnings, however).
“South Africa is also incredibly interesting,” said Kjos of one of Telegraph Travel readers’ most popular holiday choices.
The airline says it is preparing to announce its first long-haul route from Britain to a city outside of North America in the next few months, though it will not give an indication as to where. Kjos says flights to the Far East offer “great potential” but Norwegian must first receive clearance from the Russian government to fly above the Siberian corridor.In the meantime, the carrier is continuing to grow its American presence. Today it launches two new routes - to Denver and Seattle, both from Gatwick, with fares starting from £199. The two cities bring the total number of US cities served by Norwegian from the London airport to nine, including New York and Los Angeles.
Next in the pipeline is an announcement that Norwegian has done deals with budget giants easyJet and Ryanair, allowing passengers to fly much of the world for hundreds of the pounds rather than thousands. Kjos has been in talks with both carriers over linking up with their British and European networks.
“More or less [agreed],” he said. “We have to look at the IT integration… so it’s more to solve how to set it up, actually.