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photo: Norwegian

Norwegian ditches Singapore for Rio

The low-cost long-haul carrier is planning flights from London in 2019 and says there’s big potential for flights from southern Europe.

Norwegian will drop its London Gatwick-Singapore service after less than 18 months, reportedly in favour of starting up a new service to Rio de Janeiro.

The low-cost carrier began flights between London and Singapore last September, but a Norwegian spokesperson now say this capacity will be used on other routes.

“We have taken the decision to no longer operate our Gatwick to Singapore service from 12th January 2019 and use this capacity elsewhere on our network. Customers who have booked to fly after this period will be offered alternative options to reach their destination or a full refund,” the statement reads.

Norwegian’s chief executive, Bjørn Kjos, has told media in the US that a Gatwick-Rio service would start next spring. The carrier launched flights between Gatwick and Buenos Aires, Argentina, in February and has started sales on a number of domestic routes in the country, which will start in mid-October.

The new route will compete directly with British Airways’ existing scheduled flights between London Heathrow and Rio.

Too expensive
According to Kjos, the company sees great opportunities for further growth related to South America. The company is also looking at the possibility of long-haul flights between South America and southern Europe, for example Madrid and Barcelona, which Kjos says have plentiful potential.

“It’s extremely expensive to fly on any of these routes. They deserve to pay lower prices,” he said.

Aerolineas Argentinas, Air Europe and Iberia currently offer departures from Madrid to Buenos Aires, while Iberia is alone on Barcelona-Buenos Aires and Iberia and LATAM fly Madrid-Rio.

Norwegian adds to Hamilton and Montreal in Canada, and Tampa in Florida on their network list this autumn.

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