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Norwegian opens Southern Europe headquarters in Barcelona and announces flights to the US by 2016

The low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle announced it may connect Barcelona to 5 United States cities by 2016: San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Orlando. The cheapest roundtrip tickets would be less than $300, stated the Scandinavian company’s Founder and CEO, Bjorn Kjos. The announcement was made on the day Norwegian unveiled its headquarters for Southern Europe, based at Barcelona El Prat Airport. The low-cost airline has transformed the Catalan capital’s main airport into one of its main operational bases worldwide. In 2014 alone, Norwegian increased by 36% the number of passengers it transported through the airport. Last year, Barcelona El Prat broke its passenger record with 37.5 million people. The Catalan Minister for Transport, Santi Vila, stressed that Norwegian’s plans contribute to transforming Barcelona El Prat into an intercontinental hub.

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28 January 2015 10:41 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The Scandinavian low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle announced it may connect Barcelona to 5 major cities of the United States by 2016: San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Orlando. The cheapest roundtrip tickets between the Catalan capital and these American cities would be less than $300, stated the company’s Founder and CEO, Bjorn Kjos. The announcement was made on the day Norwegian unveiled its headquarters for Southern Europe, which are based at Barcelona El Prat Airport. The low-cost airline has transformed the Catalan capital’s main airport into one of its main operational bases worldwide, significantly increasing its presence at Barcelona El Prat year after year. In 2014 alone, Norwegian increased by 36% the number of passengers it transported through the airport, reaching 828,000 people. Last year, Barcelona El Prat broke its passenger record with 37.5 million people. The Catalan Minister for Transport, Santi Vila, stressed that Norwegian’s plans are contributing to transforming Barcelona El Prat into an international hub in its own right, not only at European level but also at an intercontinental level.


“Barcelona is a key point for the airline for short and long-distance destinations”, stated Norwegian’s CEO. Beyond the plans involving the 5 American cities, after 2016, the Scandinavian company is looking to expand its activities in high-growth markets, particularly in South America and Asia, confirmed Kjos, and Barcelona could play a significant role in such an expansion.

In 2014, the company transported 828,218 passengers through Catalonia’s main airport. This represents a 36% growth on 2013 figures. It started to operate from Barcelona El Prat in 2008 and year after year it has increased its presence, becoming the 7th largest airline at the airport in passenger figures. In these 7 years, it has transported a total of 2.5 million passengers through El Prat.

A 4th plane based at Barcelona in 2015 

In 2015, Norwegian will base a 4th aircraft at Barcelona El Part. This will allow the low-cost airline to open 5 new routes from the Catalan capital. Besides the destinations it already served in 2014 from Barcelona, Norwegian will fly to Birmingham (UK), Dubrovnik (Croatia), Billund (Denmark), and Stavanger and Trondheim (Norway). This summer it will link Barcelona to 15 destinations, with 158 weekly flights and a total capacity of 29,388 seats per week.

Barcelona headquarters will take on part of Norwegian’s global marketing and sales tasks

Norwegian unveiled on Wednesday its new offices, located next to Barcelona El Prat Airport and its former control tower, which is near the T2 terminal and a business area. The company’s headquarters for Southern Europe will start their activity in February and will occupy 600 square metres. With this investment, Norwegian will generate 35 new jobs in Barcelona, which could grow up to 50 in the medium term. Furthermore, Norwegian also announced that its offices based in Catalonia will also take part of the company’s global tasks and central services, particularly in the areas of online and offline marketing, sales, revenue for complementary services and coordination between multiple airports. Right now, the Scandinavian group is already employing some 100 people in Barcelona.

Catalan Government: Norwegian contributes to transform Barcelona into a hub

The Catalan Minister for Territory and Sustainability, Santi Vila, who is also in charge of Transportation, welcomed Norwegian’s decision and investment. Vila emphasised that the Scandinavian company’s plans are contributing to transforming Barcelona El Prat into an international hub in its own right, both at European and at an intercontinental level. Furthermore, he also welcomed the company’s future plans to expand into South America and Asia. Vila stated that Norwegian is listening to the market’s needs, which point out the need to open air routes between Barcelona and the United States’ major cities. 

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  • The opening ceremony of Norwegian's new headquarters in Barcelona (by J. R. Torné)

  • The opening ceremony of Norwegian's new headquarters in Barcelona (by J. R. Torné)