Barcelona new hub for Norwegian's expansion

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Passengers board a Norwegian flight. File photo: Eyewall ZHR/Flickr
13:42 CET+01:00
Norwegian air carrier Norwegian has expanded its presence in Europe by adding several destinations from Barcelona, alongside its drive to extend its flight schedule with several longer-distance routes.

The company announced its new plans for the Spanish airport on Thursday.

"Along with the new base, Norwegian will also launch new routes from Barcelona to Sandefjord Torp, Hamburg, Berlin and Warsaw," the airline said in a statement. "The new base in Barcelona is Norwegian’s sixth base in Spain, along with Madrid, Alicante, Malaga, Las Palmas and Tenerife."

The move was motivated both by client demand for easy access to Barcelone in particular and Spain in general, but in the larger pciture the airport in the country's second largest city could serve future business expansion plans. 

“It is strategically important for us to establish a base in Barcelona, as we are considering the airport for future long-haul operations,” CEO Bjørn Kjos said. 

By April 2014, Norwegian's Spanish expansion will have created jobs for some 100 pilots along with employment opportunities for cabin crew.

"Not only will the establishing of the new base create more jobs in the local airline industry but also the tourism industry in general," Ricard Font, president of the Barcelona Air Route Development Committee (BARDC), said in a statement. 

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The company is also set to lay Europe at its feet by expanding destination choice for travelers in London. From April onwards, flights will leave London Gatwick for Santorini, Siciyl, Cyprus, and Budapest, with additional routes - including Malaga, Ibiza, Split, Durovnik, Mallorca, Tenerife, Copenhagen, and, naturally, Barcelona - planned for July.

The airline has also set its sights on long-distance travel. From July, Norwegian clients will be able to take off for New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale from Gatwick airport. 

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