Norwegian Air to axe Singapore-London service in January 2019

  Norwegian Air launched direct flights to Changi Airport from London's Gatwick four times a week in September 2017.
Norwegian Air launched direct flights to Changi Airport from London's Gatwick four times a week in September 2017.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - The only budget flight between Singapore and London will cease operating in January 2019 when Norwegian Air drops the route which was launched just a year ago.

Less competition is bad for travellers if fares increase as a result, but other airlines still serving the route are likely to benefit, experts said.

This includes Singapore Airlines and Australia's Qantas.

Although Norwegian Air has yet to issue an official statement, it is understood that a new service to Rio de Janeiro will take Singapore's place, Australia's Business Traveller reported.

The airline has told customers that those who have booked to fly after the service ceases on Jan 12 will be offered alternative options to reach their destination or a full refund.

Norwegian launched direct flights to Changi Airport from London's Gatwick four times a week in September 2017.

Using the Boeing Dreamliner, it offers 344 seats in a two-class configuration of economy and premium.

A Changi Airport Group spokesman said: "Since the commencement of services on 29 Sept 2017, there has been a stable growth in passenger traffic between Singapore and London. We will continue to engage the airline and hope that the service will resume at a later date."

In Asia, Norwegian operates flights to Bangkok from its hubs in Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm. It is reportedly planning to launch flights to Krabi in October 2018.