Norwegian says that its first quarter results reflect the steps it has taken to improve profitability and respond to the grounding of Boeing MAX aircraft.
Norwegian reports that its first quarter in 2019 was characterized by reduced costs, increased revenue and significantly improved on-time performance.
It defined its key priority as returning to profitability through several measures, including an extensive cost-reduction program, an optimized route portfolio and sale of aircraft.
The company claims it is well positioned to continue to attract new customers, not least in the long-haul market, where it says development is stronger than in the short-haul market.
For the first quarter, total revenue was NOK 8 billion (€827 million), an increase of 14% from the same period last year.
More than 8 million passengers flew with Norwegian this quarter, a growth of 9%.
The company’s unit cost, excluding fuel, decreased by 8% compared to the first quarter in 2018.
Punctuality increased significantly this quarter, the airline says, from 73% to 81.3%, while regularity remained unchanged at 98.7%.
“I’m pleased with the positive developments this quarter, despite the 737 MAX issues,” said CEO Bjørn Kjos.
In March, Norwegian temporarily suspended operations of 18 Boeing MAX 8 aircraft.
It tried to minimize the impact on passengers by combining flights and booking them on other departures in its own network. It asserts that it will continue to limit passenger disruptions by also offering flights with wet lease companies whenever necessary.
“Our dedicated colleagues at Norwegian have been working day and night to find solutions for our customers. They will continue to do their utmost to ensure that all flights continue to depart as planned, regardless of how long the MAX stays out of service,” says Kjos.
“We have had some productive meetings with Boeing where we have discussed how we can maneuver through the difficulties the MAX situation is causing Norwegian,” he added.