The first Norwegian Air flight from London to Argentina landed at Ezeiza International Airport on Thursday, marking a successful “take-off” in Latin America for Europe’s third largest low-cost airline.
The 787 Dreamliner flight landed in the Argentine capital from London Gatwick. It was met in Buenos Aires by Transport Minister Guillermo Dietrich, UK Ambassador to Argentina Mark Kent, Tourism Minister Gustavo Santos and Aeropuertos 2000 chief Martín Eurnekian. The flight marks the UK’s first low-cost route to South America.
The company hopes to sell a one-way ticket from London from around £260.00. Four 14-hour flights are scheduled per week.
The inclusion of flights to Argentina expands Norwegian’s portfolio of international destinations. It already runs on routes from London to New York, Los Angeles and Las Vegas with plans to soon offer flight to Chicago and Austin, Tokyo and Shanghai.
The Oslo-based firm also has its eyes set on Brazil, Chile and Uruguay with big plans for the domestic market in Argentina.
The company sees “huge potential” in Argentina because of a historic lack of development in the sector, the company’s public relations director for Argentina, Matías Maciel, told the times in January. “This is a big opportunity in a big country,” he added.
“Norwegian is a feeder airline. We expect to connect Argentina to the world with our existing network.”
With the highest GDP per capita in South America, Argentines take half as many flights per year as Brazilians, a third as many as Chileans, and less than passengers in Peru and Colombia.
The potential in Argentina’s empty skies is evident and with its pro-market, modernising agenda, President Mauricio Macri’s government is keen to lend a helping hand. Over 630 new routes were granted to 13 companies in tender processes during 2017.