Norse Atlantic adds new US destinations from UK’s Gatwick as demand surges

LONDON (Reuters) – Norway-based airline Norse Atlantic said it will add Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and Boston to its summer schedule from London Gatwick airport this year, as it seeks to benefit from the post-pandemic boom in travel.

The airline, which flew its maiden flight last summer, hopes to succeed where Norwegian Air failed, by offering transatlantic flights at budget rates after securing cheap leases on Dreamliner 787s during the pandemic.

Passenger demand for travel has surged over the last 12 months and is expected to recover to pre-pandemic levels on most routes in 2023.

That trend is being seen at Norse said Chief Executive Bjorn Tore Larsen.

“Summer is going to be good,” he told Reuters ahead of announcing the new routes on Tuesday.

“Bookings are where we expect them to be or better.”

Norse said it would fly daily to Los Angeles from Gatwick from June 30 with economy return fares from 430 pounds including taxes. The other new destinations would have similar fares and slightly less regular services.

The airline already flies to New York JFK and plans to also start serving Orlando and Fort Lauderdale/Miami in May. When it adds the new destinations later in the summer, it will serve more U.S. cities than any other airline flying from Gatwick, Britain’s second-biggest airport.

Norse said it had made a “significant investment” at Gatwick and employs 370 people there, where it is basing five of its current fleet of 10 aircraft.

Gatwick’s transatlantic connections suffered during the pandemic following the failure of Norwegian and after Virgin Atlantic stopped flying from Gatwick and focused on its operations at Britain’s biggest airport, Heathrow.

(Reporting by Sarah Young and Joanna Plucinska; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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