Well, here’s an interesting one. Norwegian has been awarded six weekly slots at Heathrow Airport for the Summer 2020 season.
Starting from late March and running to late October, Norwegian will be in a position to launch three flights per week, given that a take-off and landing requires two slots.
At the moment there are no clues as to what route Norwegian will launch, although as it is a Summer slot it may be targeting Florida. There is no guarantee that Norwegian will gain Winter 2020 slots, and without the potential for operating year-round it would be trickier to target business routes.
This came to light in the Summer 2020 Heathrow slot report, published by Airport Coordination, the company which handles slot trades on behalf of airlines.
This is a very interesting document if you have 10 minutes spare and have avgeek tendencies. It seems that there were 9,658 allocated weekly slots last Summer. Ten were surrendered – eight by Tunisair and two by Turkmenistan Airlines. This left 9,648 slots already allocated. The airport seems to have squeezed out an extra three flights (not daily, three in total over the week), because the total allocation for Summer 2020 is 9,664 slots.
This means 16 additional weekly slots (ie 8 flights). Six went to Norwegian, two to Virgin Atlantic, two to Tunisair (partly offsetting the eight they gave up), two to Shenzhen Airlines and four to China Southern.
JetBlue asked for 70 slots – enough for five daily flights to the US – and got nothing. Virgin Atlantic asked for an extra 114 slots which must have caused a few giggles at Heathrow, given that it ended up with a grand total of two, allowing it to add just a single additional departure per week.