Norwegian Air Shuttle has sold 100 percent of its Argentinian subsidiary to Chilean low-cost carrier JetSmart Airlines. The takeover of operations takes place with immediate effect.
JetSmart Argentina continues to serve Norwegian Air Argentina’s existing routes to and from Buenos Aires Jorge Newberry Aeroparque Airport (AEP) to ‘minimize’ impact on booked passengers. The fleet of three Boeing 737-800 currently registered in Argentina will be replaced by JetSmart Airbus A320s, and are due to return to Norwegian’s European operations. JetSmart will discontinue to ‘Norwegian’ brand, and integrate the newly acquired competitor into existing JetSmart Argentina.
Norwegian Air Argentina was launched just over a year ago, in October 2018. The start of operations was delayed by two months due to delivery delays with the Boeing 737 MAX, which meant that Norwegian’s European network needed the 737 NG aircraft that were intended to be transferred to its new Argentinian subsidiary.
JetSmart is a Santiago de Chile-based low-cost carrier, owned by multinational investment firm Indigo Partners (not to be confused with Indian ‘IndiGo’), making it a sister company of other low-cost airlines, including Frontier Airlines from the United States and WizzAir from Europe.
While the airline currently operates only 17 Airbus A320 and A320neo family aircraft, including four for JetSmart Argentina, it has around 80 more A320neo airplanes (also including A321neo and A321XLR) on order with the European aircraft manufacturer. These orders are part of deals by its parent company Indigo Partners. Its latest commitment, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a total of 50 Airbus A321XLR (of which twelve will got to JetSmart), was signed at the Paris Air Show 2019 in June.
Jakob Wert is an aviation journalist from Germany. He built up the website IFN.news and is the Editor-In-Chief of International Flight Network.