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photo: Norwegian

Norwegian: Mixed results, uncertain routes

The low-cost carrier sees 16% more passengers but reveals a 20% fall in unit revenue. Meanwhile it postpones one new route but considers starting another.

Norwegian carried more than three million passengers during April, an increase of 16% compared to the same month last year.

The figures were negatively affected by Easter lying in March this year, the carrier says, in addition to the launch of new long-haul routes. But a total of 3,049,249 passengers opted to fly with the airline in April, which is 411,020 more than the same month in 2017.

However, Norwegian suffered a 20% fall in unit revenue, which is under pressure because of the massive capacity that is being added to the market. Unit revenue fell from NOK 0.36 per offered seat kilometre to 0.29.

The total traffic growth (RPK) increased by 44%, while capacity growth (ASK) rose 51%. The load factor was 83%, down 3.6 percentage points. Norwegian explains that the high capacity growth is primarily due to its long-haul routes, which have more than doubled since April last year.

Further news
Meanwhile, on June 20, Norwegian had been due to start a route from Milan to Los Angeles with four weekly departures. This start-up is now postponed to 2019.

Norwegian is, however, reported to be showing interest in launching scheduled flights between Palma and New York, according to the regional government of Spain’s Balearic Islands, with Boston and Philadelphia also possible launch pads for flights to Mallorca.

Norwegian’s fleet renewal continues, taking delivery of one more Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in April. This year in total it will take delivery of 11 of this aircraft type, as well as 12 Boeing 737 MAX8s and two Boeing 737-800s. With an average age of 3.6 years, Norwegian says its fleet is one of the world’s newest and “greenest”.

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