Today in the Sky
Ben Mutzabaugh, USA TODAY 11:19 a.m. EST December 22, 2015
724 SharesA Norwegian Air Shuttle Boeing 787 Dreamliner. (Photo: Norwegian Air Shuttle)
Fast-growing European low-cost carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle will add nonstop service from Oakland to London Gatwick. The flights, which will be flown on the airline’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners, begin May 12.
The carrier’s three weekly flights will give Oakland its first-ever regularly scheduled airline route to London. That's a boost for Oakland International as it seeks to grow its stature in a competitive Bay Area that’s also home to the busy San Francisco and San Jose airports. Rival Mineta San Jose International Airport, for example, also just landed its first-ever route to London on British Airways. And SFO -- the region's busiest air hub -- has several flight options to the British capital.
For Norwegian Air, London will be its third route from Oakland. The airline has grown to become the third-biggest carrier at Gatwick, offering seasonal or year-round service to more than 50 destinations in Europe. Norwegian Air also flies from Oakland to its other bases in Oslo and Stockholm. Norwegian spokesmanAnders Lindstrom tells Today in the Sky that the carrier's Oakland passengers can connect to a combined 63 European airports via London, Oslo and Stockholm.
"The U.S. is one of our key markets and we see great demand from American customers for more affordable fares to Europe, especially in California," Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos adds in a statement detailing the new Oakland route.
On the domestic front, Oakland received another lift earlier this month whenSouthwest Airlines announced new nonstop service to both St. Louis and Reno. Already the busiest carrier at Oakland, Southwest will fly to 26 nonstop destinations from the airport once those flights begin June 5.
San Jose lands 1st-ever nonstop route to London with new British Airways route
Southwest’s new routes also put Oakland in position to hit a milestone once Norwegian Air unveiled its latest route from the airport.
“We’re pleased that London Gatwick will be our 50th nonstop destination, a record high in our 88-year history,” Kristi McKenney, the Port of Oakland’s Acting Director of Aviation, says in a statement.
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