Cheap fares to Argentina

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Flying to South America has always been comparatively expensive compared to flying to North America or Asia. It may be one of the reasons why tourism from the UK to the continent has never been as impressive as it has been to other tourist destinations.

Even once you get there, internal flights can be expensive (not quite so in Colmbia where there are at least two low cost airlines) leaving long distance buses as the transport of choice. That takes time in some of the larger countries like Brazil, Chile and Argentina.

But why hasn’t it attracted the interest of low-cost airlines? It could be the distance. It could be the perceived lack of interest in numbers who might want to travel there.

One low-cost airline, Norwegian, has taken the plunge. After opening up North America with direct flights from Gatwick to places like Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland (near San Francisco) and Orlando and with new links to Seattle and Denver from this September, Norwegian is now turning its attention to South America

Starting from 14th February next year, it will introduce a direct flight from Gatwick which will take just under fourteen hours to fly the 6,900 miles to the Argentinian capital of Buenos Aires. The return fare will be from £598 which is about fifty pounds cheaper than anything I can find by making a quick search this morning. But that isn’t for a direct flight. It involves changing elsewhere and the layover whilst waiting for the connecting flight can be anything from about ninety minutes to 23 hours.

British Airways provide the only direct link and their prices start from about £943 on their website for a February departure. At the moment they have a sale (bookable by 11th of July) and the website says there is a fare of £750 to Buenos Aires.

Nonetheless, even with the BA sale, Norwegian may be £150 cheaper and compared with normal prices is about £350 cheaper. Yes, you do have to pay for luggage and meals (I still refer to take my own) but it will still work out cheaper. But what of moving around once you get to Argentina?  The airline is planning to set up a local subsidiary to fly internally but that may not be operational by next February.

The question now is whether British Airways will react and match prices. BA will rival Norwegian on the Fort Lauderdale route from 6th July. It has set up a low cost subsidiary called Level which uses Iberia planes but that operates out of Spain. Initially there were no plans to operate the brand from the UK but that may change as BA fights to preserve its lucrative route?

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