Fly Norwegian’s new route to Changi Airport from Gatwick
Have you ever wanted to visit the Garden City of Singapore. That’s the stuff of fantasies, which can possibly become a reality for many travellers here in the UK after Norwegian Air announced recently that it will start operating direct budget flights between Gatwick and Singapore from September 28th.
The idea sounds very tempting, after the low-cost carrier marked its debut with special one-way Singapore-to-London fares starting from £179.99 for economy class, and £699.99 for premium, inclusive of all fees and taxes.
As many people are more interested in the cost of return fares and have not even heard of Norwegian Air, we did some research online. Here’s what we found.
Economy fare costs as low as £179.99 from Gatwick
Yes that’s right! That’s roughly how much a non-refundable one way fare in the economy cabin works out to be, inclusive of taxes. We found that out after toying around with its booking system, choosing a departure flight on September 30 with a return on October 8.
When we upgraded to a LowFare+ package, which includes seat reservation, a meal and checked-in baggage, the fare came up to £229.99. www.norwegian.com
This is more than £517 cheaper than what a Singapore Airlines flight might cost – which is about £925.
Go premium at £699.90
An upgrade to the premium cabin would set you back by about £699.90. You’ll get comfortable seats with extra legroom, baggage allowance, a welcome drink, a 3-course dinner with beverages, breakfast and access to a lounge at selected airports. Still this a hefty £470 more than economy.
Non-stop flight time under 13-14 hours
It will take about 12 hours 45 minutes to fly from London to Singapore. The return leg will be longer, about 13 hours 40 minutes.
That gives you ample time for eight hours of slumber plus time to watch two to three movies. There’ll be four flights a week from September 28, with unconfirmed plans to increase them to five during the winter season, starting from late-October.
Your own entertainment screen
This is surely a big upgrade from other budget and regional airlines. All seats on the airline’s long-haul flights come with an individual entertainment screen. That should keep you entertained in between your catnaps.
It is a Dreamliner flight
The Singapore-London service will be operated on the state-of-the-art 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, which has 344 economy and premium seats.
Apart from fuel-saving, it’s designed to give more comfort to passengers. With more oxygen and moisture, less engine noise and better pressure control, it helps to curb jetlag.
Not full marks, but highly rated
When an unfamiliar airline like Norwegian soars into the news, you do wonder how good or safe it is. Here’s what we found on AirlineRatings.com.
Overall, Norwegian Air gets four out of five stars for product rating and five out of seven for safety. It was the winner of AirlineRatings.com’s best low-cost carrier award for Europe 2014.
It’s the longest budget flight ever
The one-way 10,841km trip will therefore be the longest flight to be operated by a budget airline.
Singapore will be the second Asian destination for Norwegian Air after it launched long-haul flights from Scandinavia to Bangkok in 2013. The airline plans to launch direct flights to connect Singapore with Paris, Rome and Scandinavia over the next two years.