The US Department of Transportation has granted “tentative approval” for a foreign air carrier permit to Norwegian’s British subsidiary Norwegian UK.
The approval reaffirms that the low-cost carrier’s application is in full compliance with the EU–US open skies agreement.
The permit will allow Norwegian’s UK subsidiary to operate low-cost flights between the US and Europe when finalised by the US authorities.
Once final approval is received from the US, Norwegian UK will be able to establish a seamless operation and more effectively utilise its long-haul fleet, the airline said.
This includes the use of the same aircraft on all long-haul routes such as the US, Singapore, Argentina and other future long-haul markets Norwegian is looking at in Asia and South America.
Norwegian UK was set up in November 2015 following a detailed application with the Civil Aviation Authority.
It allows Norwegian to build on its growing UK operations by accessing bilateral traffic rights to a series of global markets.
Norwegian UK already plans new flights from Gatwick to Singapore in September and Argentina from February 2018.
Norwegian chief executive Bjørn Kjos said: “Tentative US approval for our UK subsidiary takes us a positive step towards being able to offer millions of passengers even more new routes and lower fares.
“We look forward to final DoT approval for Norwegian UK’s foreign air carrier permit soon, allowing us to continue delivering more flights, more choice and more jobs on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Norwegian flies from five UK airports – Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast – carrying more than five million UK passengers a year to more than 50 destinations.
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