Norwegian started 2017 with a 20% surge in passenger carryings due to international expansion.

Europe’s third largest budget airline carried more than 2.1 million passengers in January, traditionally a quiet month.

The year-on-year growth was mainly driven by international expansion including transatlantic routes between the UK and the US and domestic routes in Spain.

The airline’s load factor grew by 1.3 percentage points to 83% percent as it carried 353,920 more passengers than the same month last year.

Chief executive Bjørn Kjos said: “We are very pleased to see that the traffic growth continues in January, a month traditionally characterised by less travel.

“The global expansion continues with strong growth on domestic routes Spain as well as flights between the US and the UK.”

The airline’s fleet renewal programme started 2017 with the delivery of two Boeing 737-800s in January.

Norwegian will take delivery of nine Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, 17 Boeing 737-800 and six new generation Boeing 737 MAX 8s this year.