Norwegian Air launches Gatwick: Europe-Buenos Aires air routes grow and competition escalates

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Norwegian launched its first route to Argentina on Valentine's Day with a London Gatwick-Buenos Aires service through its subsidiary Norwegian Air UK, the ninth operator between Europe and Buenos Aires. The Argentine capital is now the second biggest Latin American destination by seat capacity from Europe, and growing much faster than the leading destination, São Paulo.

Iberia is the leading airline from Europe to Buenos Aires thanks mainly to its Madrid-Buenos Aires capacity, a route on which it competes with Air Europa and Aerolineas Argentinas.

Pre-empting Norwegian, IAG's long haul LCC Level has grown the Europe-Buenos Aires market with its Barcelona-Buenos Aires entry, whereas Aerolineas Argentinas has contracted by withdrawing from the same route. KLM has also grown rapidly from Amsterdam, while Buenos Aires is also served from Frankfurt, Paris CDG, Rome Fiumicino, and London Heathrow.

Only Madrid and Rome have more than one operator, although Norwegian now provides city pair competition to British Airways' Heathrow service. The SWISS subsidiary Edelweiss Air plans to launch a Buenos Aires service from Zurich in Nov-2018. Further increases in the number of Europe-Buenos Aires routes, and in the competition on existing city pairs, seem likely.

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