Photo: Norwegian Air
Catch a West End play, shop at Harrods, dig into a Dover sole at a fancy hotel, and, hopefully, bump into the Queen at the gate of Buckingham Palace.
That’s the stuff of fantasies, which can possibly become a reality for many travellers here after Norwegian Air announced recently that it will start operating direct budget flights between London and Singapore from September 28.
The idea sounds very tempting after the low-cost carrier marked its debut with special one-way Singapore-to-London fares starting from $199 for economy class, and $839 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. And here’s what we found.
1. Economy fare costs as low as $600:
Yeah that’s right! That’s roughly how much a non-refundable return 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 29 with a return on October 2.
When we upgraded to a LowFare+ package, which includes seat reservation, a meal and checked-in baggage, the fare came up to $779.80. This is more than $400 cheaper than what a Singapore Airlines flight might cost – which is about $1,200.
2. Go premium at over $2,300:
An upgrade to the premium cabin would set you back by about $2,320. You’ll get comfortable seats with extra legroom, a welcome drink, a 3-course dinner with beverages, breakfast and access to a lounge at selected airports.
3. Non-stop flight time under 13-14 hours:
It will take about 13 hours 40 minutes to fly from Singapore to London. The return leg will be faster, about an hour less at 12 hours 45 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.
4. 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 fixated in between your catnap.
5. It’s 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.
6. Not full marks, but highly rated:
When an unfamiliar airline like Norwegian soars into the news, many of us 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’s the winner of AirlineRatings.com’s best low-cost carrier award for Europe 2014.
7. It’s the longest budget flight ever:
The one-way 10,841km trip will 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.
This originally appeared on AsiaOne