On 26-Oct-2017 the Argentine National Civil Aviation Administration (ANAC) authorised Norwegian Air Argentina to operate 153 routes from the country, both domestic and international. The Norwegian Group expects that its Argentinean subsidiary, established in Jan-2017, will finally launch operations in the middle of 2018.
It had originally hoped for a winter 2017/2018 launch, but the regulatory process has taken longer than expected. Operation of the authorised routes will be phased in over a period of years, but Argentina will be a major focus of Norwegian Group's growth in 2018.
Norwegian Group's first Argentinean flight will be London Gatwick-Buenos Aires, operated by Norwegian Air UK on 14-Feb-2018, but Norwegian Air Argentina itself will begin with domestic and intra-Latin American routes. Intercontinental routes to cities in Europe and North America are also on its authorised list and will be added over time. It plans to grow its presence in Argentina to up to 70 aircraft.
Argentina is an underserved aviation market, with high fares, offering significant potential to low cost airlines. Some liberalisation has attracted a number of possible new entrants, but challenges include infrastructure and a minimum fare regulation.
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