Norwegian is to start twice-weekly services from London Stansted to Troms” from 8 December, after also announcing a recent 42-strong Boeing 737-800 worth $3.1bn (”1.53bn).
Initially using Boeing 737-300s configured with 148 seats, it is likely that Norwegian, claiming to be Scandinavia”s largest low-cost airline, will use some of its recently ordered 42 189-seat 737-800s, in addition to an 11-strong commitment for the same type in May this year.
From Stansted, as well as the new route to Troms”, the airline also flies to Bergen, Kristiansand, both Oslo airports, Gardermoen and Rygge, Stavanger and Trondheim.
”We strongly believe that this destination [Troms”] offers something special to the market,” said Norwegian director network and revenue, Daniel Skjeldam.
”Troms” has arctic nature and wildlife, polar nights and midnight sun, and is also a gateway to the arctic, with onward connections with the passenger [shipping] line, Hurtigruten.”
Troms” is a city of 60,000 inhabitants and is the eighth largest in Norway, lying 400km (248mi) north of the Arctic Circle.
The midnight sun is above the northern horizon from about 18 May to 26 July. The sun remains below the horizon from around 26 November to 15 January, while at the most there is weak sunlight for about two hours a day during December.
Norwegian started life as Busy Bee, predominately a helicopter operator supporting the North Sea rigs. Norwegian Air Shuttle was re-branded as Norwegian in September 2002.
Listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange, the carrier took over Swedish low-cost airline FlyNordic earlier this year. CEO Bjorn Kjos is the largest single shareholder with around 30% of the equity, while Finnair holds 5%.
” Image: Konrad Zielinski, son of Julo