Norwegian still committed to budget long-haul plan

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Norwegian has confirmed it is still committed to launching long-haul low-cost operations, following AirAsia X's announcement today that it is withdrawing services to Europe and India.

The Scandinavian carrier said it did not share AirAsia X's concerns about high fuel costs, partly because it will operate its intercontinental flights using six Boeing 787s.

"The [787] is a newer, more fuel-efficient aircraft and we're committed to long-haul flights because of that cost and fuel efficiency," said Norwegian.

AirAsia X is suspending its services to London Gatwick and Paris Orly, as well as flights to Mumbai and New Delhi, because of "continued high jet fuel prices" and "exorbitant government taxes".

Norwegian said it plans to launch its long-haul operation in 2013, depending on delivery of the 787s on order.

Another proposed long-haul low-cost carrier, Feel Air, had been planning to launch operations from Scandinavia to the USA and Asia in 2010. However, Feel Air said last September that due to the economic climate it was too risky to begin operations in 2011. The carrier could not immediately be reached to comment on its current plans.