The only budget flights between London and Singapore will end in January when Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA scraps the long-haul route little more than a year after it started.
The last flight to London will leave Singapore on January 11, according to Norwegian’s customer booking line. The airline’s website shows no flights on the route beyond that month.
The demise of the service throws into doubt the economics of long-haul, low-cost aviation as fuel prices surge, particular on routes that are already competitive. At about $80 a barrel, Brent crude oil has almost tripled from a 2016 low.
Norwegian was betting denser seating and the lower operating costs of the Boeing Co. 787 Dreamliner would help it steal passengers from costlier rivals such as British Airways and Singapore
Airlines. A Norwegian flight from London to Singapore in November costs about $208. The cheapest flight on that route with British Airways the same month costs 257 pounds.
After expanding its fleet and failing to adequately hedge against rising fuel prices, Norwegian has been stepping up efforts to rein in a stretched balance sheet. Chief Executive Officer Bjorn Kjos is now in the process of scaling back expenditure and cutting costs.