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Norwegian Air unveils London-Rio flight, challenging 'monopoly'

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Norwegian Air unveils London-Rio flight, challenging 'monopoly'
FILE PHOTO: Bjorn Kjos, CEO of Norwegian Group, speaks during the presentation of Norwegian Air first low cost transatlantic flight service from Argentina at Ezeiza airport in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 8, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci/File Photo   -   Copyright  MARCOS BRINDICCI(Reuters)
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By Marcelo Rochabrun

SAOPAULO (Reuters) – Budget carrier Norwegian Air <NWC.OL> plans to start flights between London and Rio de Janeiro in March to break what it said was a “monopoly” enjoyed by British Airways between the two cities.

The route from London’s Gatwick airport to Rio de Janeiro will start on March 31 and have four weekly flights, with fares starting at 1,200 reais ($307.72) one way, Norwegian said on Tuesday.

British Airways currently operates the Rio route without competition and shares the London to Sao Paulo route with LATAM Airlines Group <LTM.SN>.

Norwegian Chief Executive Officer Bjorn Kjos said the airline might explore flights from Sao Paulo to London in the future.

“That would be our next city,” Kjos said in a call with reporters. He added that the airline is not currently seeking to become a player in the domestic flight market within Brazil.

(Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun in Sao Paulo, Additional reporting by Terje Solsvik in Oslo, editing by Gwladys Fouche)

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