Norwegian says ‘no thanks’ to London Heathrow

Feb 5, 2020

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Editor’s note: this post has been updated with information about the plans for Norwegian’s slot allotment. 

Norwegian Air won’t be landing at London’s Heathrow Airport this summer after all.

Late last year, the carrier won slots for three round-trip flights at the London hub in a lottery for summer flight schedule allocations.

But now Norwegian has decided not utilize those slots.

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“After careful consideration, which took into account the current fleet pressures placed on the airline by well documented issues with a specific Rolls Royce Trent engine type and the continued grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, we have decided to return the slots as they do not fit into our network plan at this current time,” Anders Lindström, a spokesman for the airline, said in a statement.

Norwegian’s London operations are based at Gatwick Airport, and adding a few flights at Heathrow would bring more expenses and complexity to the airline.

The low cost carrier has struggled to turn a profit, and Lindström’s statement acknowledged that turning down the Heathrow slots was part of Norwegian’s strategies for growth and profitability.

Airport Coordination International, the organization that allocates slots at Heathrow, told TPG on Thursday that Norwegian’s would be reallocated “in accordance with the Slot Regulation.”

Featured photo by Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

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