Norwegian Launches Gatwick To Rio Flights

Norwegian has revealed that they will be launching direct flights from London Gatwick to Rio de Janeiro (Brazil).

This could potentially be very lucrative for the low cost airline, as currently only British Airways and LATAM codeshare a direct route, creating a monopoly.

What are the details?

Norwegian will be running a four days a week service (Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday) using their Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Tickets will cost around £240 one-way for the basic economy ticket, but remember to budget more for luggage and food onboard the low cost carrier.

Norwegian Rio
The new route will be a direct 11 and a half hours.

The new route will have a flight time of around 11 hours and 30 minutes and will begin from March 31st 2019.

Currently, if you want to fly to Rio in Brazil from the United Kingdom, you either fly on the dominated British Airways direct service or fly from another hub in Europe (KLM via Amsterdam or Air France via Paris). Naturally, this adds around 3 hours onto your journey.

Norwegian Brazil
The current options for flying in March, the direct BA/LATAM route is the third option and the only direct one on the list.

Even by flying via a hub the costs are still substantial to reach Brazil. The new Norwegian service will cost significantly cheaper and be direct. We would expect British Airways to drop the prices in response but it remains to be seen.

Norwegian Air
The announcement graphic from the Norwegian website.

“Our new Rio de Janeiro route breaks the monopoly on direct flights between the UK and Brazil as we’re committed to lowering fares and making travel more affordable for all holidaymakers and business travellers”. – Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos

This parallels the news that Norwegian will be upgrading their London to Argentina service from four days (like above) to daily, to keep up with increased demand. Speaking of latin expansion…

Could this mean a Norwegian Brazillian domestic airline?

Norwegian shook the world stage a few months ago when it announced it would run a domestic airline in Argentina, and now it looks like it might do it again, this time in Brazil!

This is just conjecture at this point, but after seeing how Norwegian is pivioting from running services to Asia (Like how they recently cancelled their London to Singapore route) to Latin America, anything is possible. Brazil is a very populated country with an increasing demand for air travel.

Norwegian currently run 12 different international routes from the UK to the United States plus Argentina, and this route will be lucky 13.

Other options might include other cities in Brazil, such as the very populus Sao Pablo, or to the popular tourist destination of Cancun, Mexico.

The current routes on the Norwegian website. Note: The other routes into Argentina only go via Buenos Aries.

There is no word yet if Norwegian will also run a service from Rio to Buenos Aries in Argentina, completing a triangle route.

“The UK’s connectivity into South America is extremely important for the future and a new direct, affordable route to Brazil will provide exciting opportunities for both business and leisure travellers.” – Gatwick CEO Stewart Wingate

Will you be flying to Brazil on the new Norwegian route?