Norwegian UK (NUK) was granted a foreign air carrier permit by the US Department of Transportation on Friday (September 23) after being given “tentative approval” in July.
The low-cost carrier’s British subsidiary was set up in 2015 to enable Norwegian to grow its long-haul routes by accessing bilateral traffic rights to a series of global markets.
Norwegian has already announced plans for new routes to Singapore from Gatwick next week and Argentina starting in February 2018 using the new traffic rights.
The carrier said its American foreign carrier permit now would allow Norwegian UK “to establish a seamless operation and more effectively utilise its long-haul fleet”.
This includes the use of the same aircraft across all long-haul routes including the US, Singapore, Argentina and other future destinations.
The airline added that despite already employing more than 1,000 pilots and crew at Gatwick, its continued UK growth “will lead to thousands more jobs and economic benefits”.
Norwegian will now begin to establish which elements of its existing long-haul operations (including new and existing routes, aircraft and crew) will be operated by the Norwegian UK subsidiary in future.
Bjørn Kjos, chief executive, said: “This is great news for Norwegian and passengers on both sides of the Atlantic, enabling us to offer even more new routes, greater choice and lower fares.
“Our Norwegian UK subsidiary has already opened the door to a range of new markets, so securing access to the US is the final piece of the jigsaw, allowing us to operate a seamless operation with affordable fares to a range of global destinations.
“New routes will also lead to more jobs, and along with the 1,000 pilots and crew already working for us at Gatwick, we look forward to creating thousands more jobs and economic benefits as we continue to grow.
“We would like to thank the many airports, airlines, businesses and politicians on both sides of the Atlantic for supporting for NUK and the huge benefits of open skies and fair competition."