Norwegian has confirmed its British subsidiary, Norwegian UK, has been given tentative approval by the United States department of transportation for a foreign air carrier permit.
The approval reaffirms that the NUK application is in full compliance with the EU–US Open Skies Agreement.
When finalised by the department of transportation, the permit will allow Norwegian’s UK subsidiary to operate low-cost flights between the US and Europe.
Norwegian flies from five UK airports (Gatwick, Birmingham, Manchester, Edinburgh and Belfast) carrying over five million UK passengers each year to more than 50 destinations.
Following a detailed application with the Civil Aviation Authority, Norwegian UK was set up in November 2015 and allows Norwegian to build on its growing UK operation by accessing bilateral traffic rights to a series of global markets.
The subsidiary has already announced plans for new flights from London Gatwick to Singapore, starting in September and Argentina starting in February 2018.
Once final approval is received from the US authorities, Norwegian UK will be able to establish a seamless operation and more effectively utilise its long-haul fleet - 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 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 department of transport 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.”