Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA has announced that it will establish a unit in Argentina with 10 Boeing Co. 737 narrow-body jets by the end of this year and expects to transport between 2 to 3.5 million people in its first full year of operations in the country.
Norwegian also recently announced it will launch flights from both Denver International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to London’s Gatwick Airport this September. With these additions, Norwegian now offers nine nonstop routes from across the United States to London.
Service from Denver to London will launch on September 16, with twice-weekly flights on Tuesdays and Saturdays during the summer season. Service will increase to three times per week, adding Thursdays, beginning November 2 during the popular winter season. Service from Seattle to London will launch on September 17, with four flights per week on Mondays, Wednesday, Fridays and Sundays.
As far as the Argentina flights go, the carrier has applied for an air-operating certificate from authorities in the South American country and is now seeking rights to serve domestic routes there. The network would link up with planned flights to Buenos Aires from cities such as London, Paris, Barcelona, Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm using Boeing 787 wide-bodies.
Norwegian Air formed an operating company at the beginning of 2017 to found a network in Argentina after earlier extending its discount model from European short-haul flights into North Atlantic operations.
Argentina's domestic airline industry is currently dominated by state-owned Aerolineas Argentinas and Chile's Latam Airlines Group. Long-haul bus routes connecting the country's major cities and tourist destinations remain a popular form of travel.
Since taking office a year ago, Argentina President Mauricio Macri has pledged to attract international investment to boost the economy and improve the country's transportation infrastructure, including airports. In September, the government said it would invest $1.39 billion to modernize the country's airports in part to boost passenger capacity.
Additionally, the government of Argentina announced on January 2 that all international tourists planning a visit to the South American nation will receive a direct and automatic reimbursement of the Value Added Tax (VAT) from their hotel and lodging stays across the country.