Ryanair will finalize a deal with Norwegian to provide the longhaul specialist with regional European traffic during the first quarter of 2017, sources have told The Sunday Telegraph.
The revelation comes nine months after Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary said the two airlines had reached an “agreement in principle” wherein the Irish LCC would feed into Norwegian’s longhaul operations out of London Gatwick.
According to the newspaper’s report, Ryanair’s chief marketing officer, Kenneth Jacobs, has since confirmed that with more momentum behind the talks, he expects to see such feeder agreements become a part of the European aviation landscape in 2017.
As it stands, Ryanair’s desire to finalise an agreement with Norwegian has likely grown after Norwegian’s Irish unit, Norwegian Air International, was granted a US carrier permit by the Department of Transportation (DOT) earlier this month. Since then, Norwegian has wasted no time in restructuring its European operations. As recently reported, NAI will assume all of Norwegian’s Copenhagen Kastrup, and eventually Stockholm Arlanda, operations.
Norwegian’s CEO Bjorn Kjos has also said that its carrier will use its fleet of B737 MAX 8s to develop transatlantic flights from Edinburgh, which already is a key Ryanair base.