Norwegian's long-haul vision includes 15 widebodies

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Scandinavian budget carrier Norwegian envisions acquiring up to 15 widebody aircraft for the long-haul operation it plans to launch next year.

A Norwegian spokesman says it is "our vision" to acquire 15 long-haul aircraft, adding that the carrier is in negotiations with both Airbus and Boeing.

This would give Norwegian a larger long-haul fleet than Scandinavian Airlines, which operates five Airbus A340-300s and four A330-300s, according to Flightglobal's ACAS database.

Norwegian is aiming to launch its long-haul operation in 2011, with New York and Bangkok "most likely" to be the first destinations, says the spokesman. The carrier applied for permission to serve these two markets in October.

Norwegian chief commercial officer Daniel Skjeldam told ATI in October that the long-haul operation would be a separate entity from the carrier's European services and would operate as a low-cost carrier.