Norwegian outlines expansion plans from the UK

Norwegian has launched the UK’s first low-fare route to South America, with a non-stop service from London Gatwick to Buenos Aires.

The route will be served year-round with four weekly flights from London Gatwick to Buenos Aires Ezeiza International Airport.

Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said: “I am delighted to bring our high quality long-haul flights to another continent as we launch the only direct flight from London Gatwick to Buenos Aires, giving leisure and business passengers affordable access to South America.

“Our first flight to Buenos Aires from the UK marks another milestone for Norwegian. As our first South American route takes off, it is also a first step towards ambitious plans for international and domestic growth in Argentina, ahead of flights to Chicago and Austin from London Gatwick next month,” Kjos added.

Argentina Ambassador Carlos Sersale di Cerisano called the new route “great news for Argentina” and said: “In the past two years the capacity for international flights connecting Argentina to the world has risen by 21%, contributing to a boost of foreign tourists from 5.9 to 6.7 million. This new flight is another step towards our target of 9 million visitors by 2020 (set by the Argentine Ministry of Tourism) as Norwegian’s growth plans for international and domestic flights from Argentina take-off.”

Norwegian says this is the first low-fare route from the UK to South America, and hopes it provides more affordable access to the region for UK travellers. The airline also plans to give UK passengers onward connections to cities around Argentina and Latin America as it prepares to launch new domestic services in the country after receiving an Air Operator’s Certificate from the Argentine authorities.

Looking ahead

Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos outlined the expansion plans for the airline, explaining the growing importance of the UK market and the airline’s strategic plans.

The airline is planning to continue to pursue further route expansion from London to South America and Asia and is exploring potential new routes to more South American countries due to strong ticket sales on the Buenos Aires route.

Further expansion in Asia will build on the successful launch of the route to Singapore, with destinations such as Tokyo, Shanghai and Beijing planned if the airline receives access to the Siberian corridor – which will give Norwegian the most efficient and direct routing across Russia to the Far East.

In 2019, eight new Airbus A321neo LR will join Norwegian’s fleet and will serve the UK from 2020. These will be Norwegian’s first Airbus aircraft to fly in its fleet with plans to use these aircraft from London to the US East Coast and Midwest. The airline will also consider routes to the Middle East using the Airbus A321neo LR.

Kjos said the UK will be “at the heart” of Norwegian’s continued global expansion, adding “we remain fully committed to the market.”

“With huge global ambitions, we’re confident that the UK can offer Norwegian a springboard to further expansion as we aim to become the long-haul airline of choice for passengers seeking a high-quality service at great value.”

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