Though it has been grounded since mid-March, Norwegian has announced it will resume a short-haul flight schedule from the UK starting on July 1. The airline will keep its journey offering to a minimum, with just four routes starting up initially.
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Norwegian will serve two airports in the UK when it first returns to the skies.
London Gatwick to Oslo will operate seven times a week, with London Gatwick to Copenhagen operating six flights.
Edinburgh airport will also see flights to Oslo and Copenhagen on offer twice weekly.
Stewart Wingate, Gatwick Airport CEO, said: “The restart of regular Norwegian services from Gatwick is very welcome news and reflects the strength of the relationship and success the airline has had at Gatwick in recent years, as well as the fact that consumer demand is picking up as more people want to start flying again.
“For our part, the airport is ready to go and we have implemented a range of measures to protect the wellbeing and safety of both passengers and staff in recent weeks.
“The wellbeing and safety of passengers and staff remains Gatwick’s top priority and – combined with the health measures announced by Norwegian – today’s news demonstrates that we are starting to see small green shoots of recovery.”
From July Norwegian will operate 76 routes across Europe from the airline’s Scandinavian hubs.
Other destinations will include Spain, Greece, and key European cities.
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The airline assures further destinations will be announced in due course, subject to passenger demand, as well as a boost in flight frequencies.
Additional safety measures have also been introduced for both passengers and crew onboard to omit the spread of viruses.
From June 17 face masks will become mandatory for all people onboard, and must be worn at all times except for when eating and drinking.
Jacob Schram, Norwegian CEO said: “Feedback from our customers has shown that they are keen to get back in the air and resume their travels with Norwegian beyond the current domestic services that we have been operating.
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“Norwegian is returning to European skies with the reintroduction of more aircraft to serve our key destinations which will ensure that we remain in line with competing carriers.
“As competition in the industry begins to recover over the summer period Norwegian will be in a position to continue to offer our customers great value and service while contributing to the gradual yet important return to normality for both the tourism sector and society as a whole.
“Safety remains our top priority and we have introduced a number of specific measures to further reduce the already low risk of infection on board.”
Since April, the airline has flown just eight flights on domestic routes in Norway when the majority of its fleet was forced to ground amid the coronavirus pandemic and corresponding lockdown measures.
Amid the devastation, Norwegian was forced to temporarily lay off more than 80 percent of its workforce as it pushed ahead to try and secure much needed financial support.
In May, Norwegian completed a restructuring process in order to secure a government loan.
However, with airlines returning to the skies there is a glimmer of hope ahead.
Norwegian follows in the footsteps of UK airlines who have already announced resumed schedules for July.
Ryanair plans to fly 1,000 flights daily across 90 percent of its 80 European hubs.
Meanwhile, easyJet resumed its first domestic flight earlier this week, with plans to ramp up its offering in July.
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