16 DECEMBER 2019


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Article from BTNews 16 DECEMBER 2019

IATA confirms Norwegian into Heathrow

The announcement that Norwegian Air had secured three pairs of weekly slots from summer 2020 at Europe’s busiest airport, Heathrow, was raised by BTN at last week's IATA media conference in Geneva.

In a session just called “Slots” Lara Maughan, IATA head worldwide airport slots, confirmed the allocation. No destinations have been suggested!

Norwegian is not a member of IATA. 

During the conference, director-general Alexandre de Juniac emphasised that while some of the leading low-cost airlines were not part of the association others were joining and noted the Indian carrier Indigo was one of 20 that enlisted this year. “All are welcome”, he said. “We do have dialogue with carriers that are not members”.

Other airlines have suggested the Norwegian approach is a loss-leader, or a promotional project, and is not sustainable given the airline's present difficult financial position. For the slots to become an asset on the airline's balance sheet, Norwegian has to operate them for a minimum of two seasons and meet other criteria. In 2018, Oman Air was reputed to have purchased a prime  Heathrow landing/take-off from Air France-KLM for $75m.

EasyJet has often been asked why it has no interest in Heathrow, with the response the airport was too expensive for its type of service, and for clear operational reasons.


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