MIAMI – The London-Heathrow Airport (LHR) Summer 2020 (S20) Initial Coordination Report shows that Norwegian Air Shuttle is the newest airline to join the airport’s roster with newly allocated slots.
Norwegian Air Shuttle has been granted a total of six new slots that may be exploited on short-, medium-, or long-haul flights.
An airport slot is a time allocation in which airlines can operate its aircraft and take advantage of airport services such as air traffic control, catering, baggage handling, and refueling.
These slots are normally limited to a certain time frame, so airlines must plan accordingly to make sure the aircraft arrive or depart within the allowed envelope.
London-Heathrow’s slots happen to be one of the world’s most desirable assets an airline can own, due to its high demand and low availability.
It has been rumored that the six slots that Norwegian Air Shuttle has been granted are worth over $100 million.
London’s busiest airport has a total passenger count of more than 78 million passengers per year, with at least 94% of them being international.
Even though Norwegian Air Shuttle hasn’t been performing well, finance wise, the airline has decided to enter one of the world’s most competitive airports.
Norwegian recently announced the cancellation of all of its long-haul flights from its Sweden and Denmark bases in March 2020. This includes its routes from Stockholm and Copenhagen to the United States and Thailand.
Norwegian has blamed that these cutbacks are due to lack of demand for the routes in the region and the fact that there has been multiple issues with Rolls Royce’s Trent 1000 engines which Norwegian uses on its Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft.
With these cutbacks, Norwegian’s long-haul fleet will be freed up, which in turn can then be utilised on these new London Heathrow slots. It will be interesting to see what routes Norwegian opts for to use to and from Heathrow.