Last week, Norwegian Air Shuttle, more commonly referred to as Norwegian, announced that it planned to start operating domestic flights in Argentina by late-2017. Wait, what? Norwegian.
While no specific routes were announced, the airline did say they planned to open bases in Buenos Aires, Cordoba, and potentially Mendoza. If given permission to start these flights, Norwegian would be the first low cost carrier to operate in the country, a distinction that surely will be having a few people scratching their heads.
According to Reuters, Norwegian plans to base between six and 10 planes in the country, and hopes to transport between 2 and 3.5 million people in their first full year of operation. If that seems aggressive, it is! Their A320’s and 737’s maximum seating capacity is about 180 people, which would mean that Norwegian would have to run between 11,000 and 19,000 FULL flights a year in order to reach their transport goals—that’s potentially 52 fully booked flights EVERY day, 365 days a year!
This announcement comes on the heels of a previous announcement by the carrier to open bases in the United States: Stewart International Airport (60 miles north of New York City) and Providence T.F. Green Airport (60 miles south of Boston). These airports would most likely serve destinations in Western Europe, given the range of Norwegian’s A320s and 737s, but like the operation in Argentina, no concrete details have been released.
While this expansion sounds crazy (and believe me, it does), remember that Norwegian has over 250 aircraft entering their fleet between now and 2021, and all those planes are going to need homes. I just wonder if they’ve bitten of more than they can chew. Let us know your thoughts below!