by Hugh Morris, The Telegraph, June 22, 2017
Buenos Aires is the latest destination to join the ever-growing list of long-haul cities available to Britons travelling on a budget.
The Argentinian capital will be on the end of a new 13-hour route from London Gatwick, courtesy of low-cost airline Norwegian, with flights commencing from February next year – and prices from £299 one way.
The carrier, which in April launched its first long-haul route from the UK to a city outside North America - Singapore, with fares from £179 one way - said its new four-times-a-week service to Buenos Aires Ezeiza International would “break the monopoly” on direct flights from London to the South American city, “offering passengers more choice and lower fares”. British Airways is currently the only other airline to fly direct, with fares for next February currently around £950 return. Its lead in prices are £750 return, but only in September.
Norwegian’s headline prices of £299 will, of course, be snapped up quickly (tickets are on sale now), with travellers requiring flexibility to bag the lowest fares. Glancing at the Norwegian website on Thursday, flights back to Britain were available from £283, putting the cheapest return fares at just under £600. The base fare will include one free piece of hand luggage (up to 10kg) and a small handbag or laptop case, but checked baggage will cost £25 extra each way. Meals will cost extra, too. BA’s economy flights come with complimentary meals and bar service and hold luggage.
A “premium” fare will also be available from Norwegian, from £699 one way, offering more legroom, lounge access, a complimentary meal and baggage allowance.
Norwegian’s CEO Bjorn Kjos said there is more to come from the airline.
“With our new Argentina route we are offering UK passengers more choice and lower fares to another exciting global destination. Buenos Aires is a cosmopolitan capital city with something to offer all travellers and Norwegian has fares to suit all budgets.
“From Europe, the USA, Asia and now South America, our long-haul network is going global and the UK will continue to be at the heart of our ambitious plans for expansion.
“We also see huge potential in the Argentinian market so this is not only a major milestone as our first South American route, it is also a first step towards ambitious plans for international and domestic growth in Argentina.”
Telegraph Travel's Chris Leadbeater said of Buenos Aires: “Argentina’s splendid capital is at its best around October, still sunny as the heat of the Southern Hemisphere summer subsides.
“It’s the perfect time to linger in the cafés of the city’s many districts: Monserrat and San Nicolas, with their echoes of the Spanish colonial epoch, at the centre; the historic barrio of San Telmo and the working class La Boca to the south; the revitalised dockland zone of Puerto Madero to the east; the elegant spaces of Retiro, Recoleta and Palermo to the north, the latter now the core of the city’s nightlife.”
The route will be operated by Boeing 787 Dreamliners by Norwegian’s UK subsidiary Norwegian UK, headquartered at Gatwick.