Norwegian UK (DI, London Gatwick) has secured its Air Operators Certificate (AOC) from the UK Civil Aviation Authority paving the way for it to launch commercial operations during the first quarter of next year.

Norwegian UK is based out of London Gatwick where the airline already has ten aircraft and more than 400 crew and pilots based. The maiden aircraft on its AOC - B737-800 G-NRWY (msn 39024) - was positioned to the airport earlier this week.

“The British market continues to play a major role in Norwegian’s growth. Securing a UK Operating License is great news and an important step to get a stronger foothold in the UK as we plan for further expansion, new routes and new jobs,” Norwegian (DY, Oslo Gardermoen) CEO Bjorn Kjos said.

Its AOC in hand, Norwegian UK will allow the LCC to tap into various new markets in Asia, South America, and South Africa by virtue of the United Kingdom's extensive number of bilateral air service agreements.

Aside from Norwegian UK, the Norwegian stable of carriers also includes Norwegian Air International (D8, Dublin Int'l), Norwegian Air Norway (DH, Oslo Gardermoen), and Norwegian Long Haul (DU, Oslo Gardermoen). A possible Spanish subsidiary is reportedly in the pipeline though the status of its AOC certification drive is currently unknown.