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Small businesses take off with Norwegian on UKTI Market Visit to the Big Apple

Press Release   •   Jan 21, 2016 10:29 GMT

Low-cost airline Norwegian, in conjunction with UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) South East is flying a diverse group of innovative South East-based small businesses on an action packed five-day market visit to New York next week.

Under the theme ’Great British Design in New York’, 10 home, giftware and lifestyle businesses won UKTI South East’s competition to join the market visit. The businesses will fly on Norwegian’s unique low-cost long-haul flight to New York, where they will attend the leading home, gift and lifestyle market trade show, NY NOW, where over 400 product categories are represented and over 2500 companies are exhibiting.

With the U.S. as the South East’s top exporting market, having expanded by a massive 55% to £8.1 billion in the year ending September 2015, the trip will provide opportunities for the winning businesses to capitalise on such export growth and demand. They will meet buyers and business prospects from around the world to build new trade links and export abroad. The UK companies will also learn about trading in the U.S. and gain valuable insight into the U.S. homeware, giftware and lifestyle markets.

From fashionable luxury dog accessories to chocolate tools and utensils, the market visit will feature a range of businesses including specialists in award winning jewellery design, unique hand-made wooden clothes brushes, slingshots & contemporary dustpan & brushes, quirky baby carriers and premium male grooming.

UK businesses choosing Norwegian can benefit from cheaper transatlantic travel with fares to the U.S. from as little as £149. Norwegian which offers the UK’s only direct low-cost long-haul flights from Gatwick to key U.S. business hubs including New York, Boston and Los Angeles will start new flights to San Francisco-Oakland in May.

The market visit will feature an array of exciting businesses:

  1. Amulette Ltd – an award-winning jewellery maker based in Reading, Berkshire
  2. Alice Foxx – designer of luxury fashionable dog accessories, based in Ashford, Kent
  3. Schokolat Ltd- produces innovative and fun authentic looking handmade chocolate gifts, based in Hook, Hampshire
  4. Connecta Baby Ltd – family business specialising in baby carriers, based in Godalming, Surrey
  5. Geoffrey Fisher – luxury British craftsman of handmade bespoke designs for the home and garden, based in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
  6. Sportpax Ltd – sells fun, stylish football and rugby rucksacks for children, based in Canterbury, Kent
  7. Mojo Skin and Haircare Ltd – produces premium hair styling, grooming and care range for men, based in Chalfont St Peter, Buckinghamshire
  8. SOAK Yourself Ltd – developer of the bath ritual kit, a unique gift concept, based in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
  9. Jin Designs Ltd – producer of clean and simple home and giftware, based in Hove, East Sussex
  10. Josephine Home - a luxury homeware and giftware business, based in London

Thomas Ramdahl, Chief Commercial Officer at Norwegian said: “Norwegian’s low-cost long-haul flights are not only driving our UK growth but they can also facilitate overseas trade for more cost-conscious businesses. By collaborating with UKTI, we are giving businesses the opportunity to spread their wings into new markets that were less accessible due to high travel costs.

“With this in mind, our game-changing low-cost direct flights to the top U.S. business destinations gives companies an affordable option, making it easier than ever to expand abroad. Our strong position at Gatwick, Premium cabin offering with lounge access and Norwegian Reward loyalty programme gives businesses an attractive low-cost alternative to expanding abroad that is unmatched by any other airline in Europe.”

Dr Catherine Raines, Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment said: “The UK’s creative industries are the backbone of our economy, and generate around £8.8 million every hour. This is a figure that just keeps increasing and shows how important it is that we nurture the talent we have.

The ‘Great British Design in New York’ competition has made it possible to showcase even more of this talent from the South East to the world. Many congratulations to the winners who are showing the depth and breadth of design talent we have. I have no doubt that visitors to the British Pavilion at NY NOW will be just as impressed as the judges have been with the results of their work.”

Lewis Scott, Regional Director for the South East at UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) said: “As well as invaluable exposure to the South East’s top exporting market the winning companies will receive intensive support, guidance and contacts from UKTI South East International Trade Advisers and commercial staff from UKTI’s New York Trade Office.

Economic research consistently shows companies who export perform better than those who don’t. The ease of international travel, to meet overseas partners and customers face to face, is a key ingredient for South East businesses to fulfil their potential.

My message to other companies who are already exporting, want to expand into new markets, or those that are completely new to exporting, is loud and clear: UKTI can help, wants to help and is ready and waiting to set you on your way.”

UKTI has recently launched Exporting is GREAT: Exporting is GREAT is the Government’s most ambitious export campaign ever. It aims to inspire and support 100,000 additional UK exporters to sell their goods and services overseas by 2020. The campaign’s mission is to turn the UK into the world’s greatest exporting nations, capturing the imagination of the public, boosting business confidence and national pride and empowering more UK companies to go out and succeed in global markets.

Norwegian first introduced low-cost flights from London to the U.S. in 2014 and now serves seven U.S. destinations from Gatwick. Since pioneering the re-emergence of low-cost long-haul travel more than 430,000 passengers have flown transatlantic with Norwegian.

Norwegian is the only airline to offer free WiFi on flights to all 29 European destinations where passengers can also watch live TV from channels including Bloomberg TV from their own devices.

Notes to editors:

Fast facts – business travel with Norwegian

  • Passengers can benefit from free infight WiFi on all UK flights from London, Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester to more than 30 European destinations
  • Today, Norwegian flies 87 WiFi equipped Boeing 737-800 aircraft over the skies of Europe
  • Norwegian flies direct to 7 U.S. destinations from London Gatwick
  • Norwegian’s low cost long-haul flights operate from London’s best-connected airport by rail, offering direct connections to 129 stations.
  • Of the 38 million passengers travelling through Gatwick each year – one in five are travelling on business.

About UKTI

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the Government department that helps UK-based companies succeed globally and assists overseas companies to bring investment to the UK. We lead the whole of Government effort to help UK firms win business overseas and rebalance the economy towards export-led sustainable economic growth. For more information on UKTI, visit www.gov.uk/ukti

About Exporting is GREAT

Exporting is GREAT exists to help more first-time UK exporters make exporting work for them. We want to inspire businesses to make that move overseas and seize the growth it can bring. And we’re working with organisations passionate about helping UK companies to export and excel. Visit www.exportingisgreat.gov.uk now to access live business opportunities around the world, training sessions, business seminars and other events, as well as specialist trade services and support.

Media contact:

Chase Burns, PR Manager, Norwegian – chase.burns@norwegian.com / +44 748 2000 646

For further information about Norwegian visit www.norwegian.com/uk or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/NorwegianUK

Andy Johnson, PR Manager, UKTI South East – andy.johnson@mhpc.com / 020 3128 8589

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, commercially branded “Norwegian”, is a low-cost airline listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Norwegian is the world's seventh largest low-cost airline. The company reported its highest ever passenger figures in a single year with almost 24 million passengers in 2014. Norwegian has a route portfolio that stretches across Europe into North Africa and the Middle East, as well as long-haul flights to the US and Southeast Asia. The company has over 400 routes to more than 130 destinations and employs approximately 5,500 people. The company has several hundred undelivered aircraft on firm order. Norwegian was founded in 1993 and its headquarter is in Fornebu, Norway. Norwegian offers better leg room than most competitors, in-flight WiFi on short haul, a fleet of around 100 aircraft with an average age of only four years; one of the youngest fleets in the world. In 2013, 2014 and 2015, Norwegian was voted Europe’s best low-cost carrier of the year by the renowned SkyTrax World Airline Awards. Norwegian was also the first airline to be awarded the World's best low-cost long-haul airline in 2015 by SkyTrax. In 2014, Norwegian also won three prizes at the prestigious Passenger Choice Awards for Best Airline in Europe, Best Inflight Connectivity & Communications and Best Single Achievement in Passenger Experience for its moving map on the 787 Dreamliners. In addition, Norwegian was awarded Europe's best low-cost airline by AirlineRatings.com for the second year running.