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Brazil clears Norwegian to operate flights

Flights to Brazil are “characterised by low competition and high prices. Norwegian Air intends to reverse that.”

Just a week after applying, Norwegian has got the green light to operate flights in and out of Brazil, the news agency Reuters reports citing a notice published in Brazil’s government register.

Europe’s third-biggest low-cost carrier had requested permission to fly between Brazil and London, with flights starting next year.

Besides transporting passengers, Brazil’s civil aviation regulator ANAC says that Norwegian will also be cleared to transport cargo and mail.

The specific routes in this extension of Norwegian’s long-haul operations will be announced soon, but the airline initially wants to launch flights between Brazil and London.

“I can confirm that Norwegian Air has been granted permission by the Brazilian authorities to fly between Brazil and the UK,” the airline’s communications director Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen told the online business newspaper E24.

“Today’s air travel relationship between Brazil and the UK is characterised by low competition and high prices. Norwegian Air intends to reverse that.”

Norwegian is also considering a second route, between London and Rio, he added.

No secret
Norwegian will be able to start flying as soon as the agency issues an operating license, ANAC says.

“As an ambitious airline with a large aircraft order, we have made no secret of our plans to expand to other parts of South America,” a Norwegian spokesman said last week.

Norwegian received its Argentinian air operator’s certificate in January and launched Buenos Aires-London Gatwick flights in February.

After several years of losses, last month Norwegian posted an unexpected second-quarter profit and said its growth would now slow while reducing costs. With 220 planes on order as of April 2018, Norwegian has the second-largest orderbook among Europe’s airlines.

In related news, ANAC has also just approved Colombia-based airline Avianca’s low-cost subsidiary Avian to fly to Brazil, which is likely as soon as September with non-scheduled flights until approval for scheduled operations is given, Airwise reports.

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