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JetSmart Slated to Take over Norwegian Air Argentina Operations
A rumor that began to circulate last week was officially confirmed on Wednesday: JetSmart will take over Norwegian Air Argentina’s operations “effective immediately,” as emphasized in a statement issued by the Nordic airline.
“To minimize the impact on passengers, JetSMART will continue to operate scheduled Norwegian Air Argentina flights from Buenos Aires’ Aeroparque. Both parties expect the integration process to continue for several months; The ‘Norwegian’ brand will be gradually withdrawn from the Argentine domestic network during this period. Over the next six months, the three Boeing 737 currently operated by NAA will be replaced by JetSMART Airbus A320. These three Boeing 737s will return to Norwegian’s service in Europe, ” the company continued.
The CEO of the Norwegian group, Geir Karlsen, stated that “as Norwegian moves from growth to profitability, we are taking all necessary measures to ensure that Norwegian is well-positioned for the future. In recent months, we have made important changes to our route network to ensure long-term profitability. Achieving satisfactory profitability for a relatively small domestic operation has proved difficult to achieve, given the general situation in the country. While most of NAA’s costs are valued in dollars, revenues are obtained only in pesos, and the strong depreciation of the peso against the dollar has created a significant gap between costs and revenues. ”
“We believe that the agreement we have signed today with JetSMART ensures a significant part of what we have built during these two years, in terms of network continuity and opportunities. The agreement brings together the two youngest airlines in Argentina in a stronger combined entity, which currently transports around 10 percent of domestic traffic and will become the third-largest operator in the country, ”Karlsen added.
In a small press conference that took place on Wednesday, Indigo Partners’ top management formally announced the acquisition but refused to disclose the amount of the operation. Operatively, the two companies will continue to take bookings separately for all Norwegian flights departing before March 28, 2020. In about ten days from today, all bookings for dates beyond April 2020 will be done via JetSmart’s website.
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