Norwegian does not rely on cheap oil: CFO

Norwegian, cheap oil, fuel, costs, loss, O'Leary, comment, Ryanair, Virgin, conference, Tore Ostby, CFO

Fuel costs are not an obstacle, new CFO tells conference
Norwegian’s low-cost long-haul business model does not simply rely on cheap oil, its finance boss insisted at a recent aviation conference.
Speaking at the Aviation Festival in London, Tore Ostby, the airline’s chief financial officer, said this was “absolutely not” the case. “We decided to launch [long-haul] when oil was above $100 [per barrel],” he revealed.
Ostby was appointed to the role in July, after his longstanding predecessor Frode Foss left the company. The carrier has posted consecutive net losses in recent quarters after rapid expansion.
This prompted Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary to claim the airline “will go in four or five months”, a statement Norwegian says has “no root in reality”.
Fuel costs are not an obstacle, Ostby told the conference. “We regard the airline industry as a growth industry,” he said, though admitting that any rise in fuel prices would “probably slow the growth”.
Ostby and Virgin Atlantic chief executive Craig Kreeger agreed that both airlines were chasing the same passengers.
“I don’t see that they are different customers,” said Kreeger. “The same person that flies business to New York flies in economy when travelling with their family. I have never seen them as different markets.”