LONDON – Norwegian’s latest subsidiary, Norwegian Air Argentina, started operations on October 16, 2018. The first flight, DN6022, departed from Buenos Aires to Cordoba at 07:30 local time, landing just over an hour later.

Argentina is the sixth domestic market in the Norwegian Group’s network.

Onboard this flight was the airline’s CEO, Ole Christian Melhus, who was also the captain of the plane.

The airline has 120 employees and plans to nearly triple this figure, adding 230 more by the end of 2019.

Norwegian first started flying to Argentina in February 2018, with its Norwegian UK subsidiary, offering direct flights between Buenos Aires and London-Gatwick with its Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.

Norwegian Air Argentina is owned by Norwegian Air Shuttle and was founded as an Argentinian airline in March 2017 in order to access future traffic rights to and from Argentina and South America for the world’s fastest-growing Low-Cost Carrier (LCC).

The first aircraft for the airline is a Boeing 737-800 aircraft, carrying the Argentinean registration LV-HQH.

Photo: Alec Wilson

The plane previously operated for Norwegian Air International is EI-FVO, before being transferred a few weeks prior.

Argentine musician and composer Astor Piazzolla is the tailfin hero on the aircraft.

Back in January 2018, Norwegian Air Argentina received its Air Services Operator Certificate (AOC) from Argentina’s National Government.

The airline plans to add three more Boeing 737-800s to its fleet by the end of 2018, eventually having a total of 10 to 15 aircraft by the end of 2019. The fleet will have an average age of just 1.5 years—one of the lowest in the region.

According to Norwegian, passengers will have access to free Wi-Fi onboard. Norwegian is currently the only airline in Europe to offer this feature, leading the industry in South America as well.

At the first flight’s ceremony, Norwegian Air Argentina’s CEO, Ole Christian Melhus, said that “It is truly an honor to be part of this magnificent milestone for Norwegian in Argentina, which will contribute to increasing connectivity, stimulating tourism and creating thousands of new jobs in this country.”

“From today and for many years to come, we will see Norwegian’s aircraft with the iconic red nose flying the beautiful blue Argentine skies,” said Melhus.

The CEO also thanked Argentinean President, Mauricio Macri, as well as Minister Guillermo Dietrich, Secretary Gustavo Santos, and Tomás Insausti of ANAC (National Civil Aviation Administration) for allowing the Norwegian venture to take off.

Argentina’s Minister of Transportation noted that “This is a historic day for Argentinean aviation. One of the largest airlines in the world, Norwegian, joins our air transportation today.”

“An airline that is investing in our country, creating new jobs— trusts our pilots, cabin crew, mechanics, and overall our people are bringing unprecedented connectivity to Argentina,” he said.

“And from this day forward, many more people are going to be able to fly; air travel is no longer synonymous with privilege.”

Back in June 2018, the airline also signed an agreement with the Government of Cordoba to establish a base of operations at the Ambrosio Taravella International Airport.

This was the first agreement signed by the company with an Argentinean province, paving the way for the airline’s development in this new region of the world for its vast network.

By the end of 2018, the airline will operate six new routes from Buenos Aires to Cordoba, Mendoza, Iguazu, Neuquen, Bariloche, and Salta.