In front of large red curtains and ancient tapestries, under palacial crystal chandeliers and before the watchful eye of Queen Elizabeth II, who observed everything from a black and white photograph taken in 1952, the British Embassy in Buenos Aires celebrated with a toast the arrival of the first flight of the Norwegian low cost airline , which connects London and Buenos Aires.
The section, operated by the British subsidiary of the company, was made on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which departed at 22:14 from the Gatwick terminal and landed at 9:11 in Ezeiza with 320 of its 338 seats occupied. It is the first Norwegian international flight in the region. The ticket is worth US $ 800 (does not include luggage or lunch) and has four weekly flights.
"It's an unusual day, I had to get up at five in the morning to go to Ezeiza," joked Mark Kent, the United Kingdom's ambassador to the country. "We arrived and the first lady who left the aircraft said ' thank you for a lovely trip ' (thanks for a beautiful trip), people were very happy," he added. In this context, he said that 150,000 Argentines visited Great Britain and 100,000 Britons traveled to our country last year and expressed his hope that the new frequency will help to increase these figures.
Norwegian Air Argentina, the company's local arm, was officially created in March of last year. The company had to wait until December to receive from the Government 152 air routes , of which 72 will be domestic and 80 international destinations. In mid-January his first Boeing 737-800 aircraft arrived in the country, adorned with an illustration of the musician Astor Piazzola on his back and at the end of the same month he obtained his Air Services Operator Certificate (CESA) .
At the embassy, Ole Christian Melhus, Norwegian's local CEO , said the flight between the two nations "is an important milestone." "The plans we have for Argentina are ambitious but realistic," he said. In addition, he assured by the end of 2018 they hope to operate "a modern fleet of between six and ten aircraft" and that in the next few years they estimate to create between 3,000 and 4,000 direct jobs and up to 55,000 indirect jobs. In total, the company expects to invest US $ 4300 million in its Argentine campaign .
For his part, Tourism Minister Gustavo Santos said it was "one of the happiest days" of his life, highlighted the importance of adding connectivity to boost the country's development and highlighted the role of Ricardo Clarke, an Argentine businessman established in Norway, had in the rapprochement between the company and the Government. Guillermo Dietrich , head of the Transportation portfolio, was happy about the arrival of Avianca, Flybondi and Norwegian and said that competition in the sector benefits the flag line. "This is good for Airlines, which grows in passengers and has a historical record of 91% of punctuality," he concluded.