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Norwegian's eye on S. America, denser U.S. routes


Norwegian Air is expanding its trans-Atlantic flight plans, but this time not just to North America. The discount carrier, which earlier this year added a flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina, will now fly to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

It's a new direction for Norwegian, which has aggressively built up its North American routes, albeit with a few missteps, over the past few years has said its plans for North America include 'densifying' some of its most successful routes.

But its attempt to open up a London to Singapore route didn't generate the business the airline hoped, and it is now turning those resources, including aircraft, to the new route from London Gatwick to Rio, starting March 31. The route, which will fly four times a week with a 787-9, is in direct competition with British Airways.

The Buenos Aires flight, also from Gatwick, connects to a Norwegian Air subsidiary in Argentina that now flies a number of domestic routes as well.

In North America, the airline is making two tactical shifts, one in California and the other in Florida. It will continue a wide range of flights from Oakland and Fort Lauderdale, but will move its London Gatwick service from those to airports to nearby San Francisco and Miami, hoping to attract more business travelers. 

The other North America announcement this week has been adding more destinations to its Boston hub, which will now run seasonal summer services to Rome and Madrid.

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