Norwegian Boeing 787-9 Photo:

MIAMI — Norwegian Air, one of Europe’s largest low-cost carriers, is continuing its march into the United States. Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) is the latest to be impacted by the airline’s U.S. growth with the launch of two new routes to London-Gatwick (LGW) and Oslo (OSL).

The London-Gatwick flight debuted on October 31, departing on its maiden voyage at 18:24 PT, 24 minutes past its push time. The flight will operate twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays. Norwegian has committed to growing its Gatwick presence, and the new Las Vegas flight is just the latest to join its network.

McCarran Airport greeted the arrival of the first flight from London with a traditional water cannon salute. (Credits: William Derrickson)
McCarran Airport greeted the arrival of the first flight from London with a traditional water cannon salute. (Credits: William Derrickson)

The carrier will also launch a weekly service to Oslo on November 1, with flight DY7102 scheduled to depart on Tuesdays at 18:10 PT. These new flights—both operated by dual-class Boeing 787s—add to the carrier’s existing weekly service to Stockholm and Copenhagen.

At the time the new routes were announced, Norwegian’s chief commercial officer Thomas Ramdahl claimed that the additions underscored the airline’s “[commitment] to growing the U.S. market.” He cited “great performance on all of our transatlantic flights” as a driver for the airline to add more capacity.

In an October 31 press release, Ramdahl reiterated that the airline’s Las Vegas routes “are preforming well,” and expressed confidence that the new flights will be “local favorites”: “Nevadans have shown that they truly appreciate our new aircraft, low fares and award-winning service – and that is a testament to the great relationship we have with McCarran International Airport and the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority,” he said.

According to Ramdahl, the new flights are consistent with the carrier’s low-cost brand: “Our mission has always been that everyone should afford to fly,” he claimed.

McCarran Airport officials expressed similar excitement to welcome additional flights from the carrier. “Last year, the airline invested significantly in Las Vegas with the introduction of service from Copenhagen and Stockholm, and the customers’ response was overwhelmingly positive,” said Rosemary Vassiliadis, Director of Aviation at McCarran.

“We’re confident Norwegian’s new service to London-Gatwick and Oslo will be equally well received, making it easier than ever for travelers to fly between Las Vegas and some of Europe’s greatest cities,” she said.

According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Norwegian will encounter non-stop competition for the first time from Las Vegas. Although Norwegian represents the only carrier on the other three routes, Virgin Atlantic also serves London-Gatwick from McCarran.

Norwegian has faced some notable headwinds from the U.S. legacy carriers in its efforts to expand in the United States. American, Delta, and United have all gone on record in opposition to Norwegian’s growth, urging Congress to block the carrier from growing any further, citing a downward effect on wages and decreased safety as concerns.

They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. With the inauguration of its London and Oslo flights, Norwegian Air is prepared to bring more people out to the desert to experience the action of “Sin City.”