Norwegian set to add Oakland to London Gatwick Transatlantic network

Low-cost, long-haul provider, Norwegian is set to further expand its Transatlantic network from London’s Gatwick in 2016 with the introduction of a regular link to Oakland International Airport from May 2016, serving the San Francisco Bay Area. This will be its seventh long-haul destination from the UK airport and will be the second new US market for 2016 after Boston.

Norwegian currently serves Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New York and Orlando from London and recently added a direct link to San Juan, Puerto Rico, host of next year’s Routes Americas. It has already confirmed plans to introduce flights to Boston’s Logan International Airport in May next year.

The airline is understood to have filed a proposed schedule for a three times weekly flight between London Gatwick and Oakland from May 12, 2016. Although it has not confirmed the expansion nor opened reservations for the route, the information has appeared in its inventory in OAG Schedules Analyser this week.

Here’s the current schedule listing…

Norwegian: London Gatwick – Oakland
DY7073 LGW1300 – 1600OAK 788 147
DY7074 OAK1840 – 1245+1LGW 788 147

The introduction of flights to Oakland from its London Gatwick base would be a logical move for the carrier as it already serves the destination from both Oslo and Stockholm. The new route, like the existing connections, will be flown using a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner, according to the schedule filing.

This will be the only regular flight between the UK and Oakland International Airport, which is growing in popularity as an alternative gateway into the San Francisco Bay Area and certainly an ideal destination for low-cost, long-haul operators. An estimated 900,000 passengers flew between the United Kingdom and the San Francisco Bay Area in 2014, all using San Francisco International Airport.

Our analysis shows that Norwegian has carried more than 130,000 passengers in and out of Oakland International Airport since it launched flights from and to Oslo and Stockholm last summer, securing strong loads and average yields on the two routes. The chart, below, shows the estimated monthly demand. The variations are caused by Oslo being served on a seaonal-only basis and frequencies being increased on the Stockholm route (from two to three weeklt) in 2015, while the Oslo route witnessed a frequency reduction (from three to twice weekly).

Richard Maslen

Richard Maslen has travelled across the globe to report on developments in the aviation sector as airlines and airports have continued to evolve and…