Norwegian Air ‘fighting for survival’ after December passenger slump

Norwegian Air is “fighting for survival” after passenger numbers tumbled by 94% year-on-year in December due to continued Covid-19 travel restrictions across Europe.

The struggling low cost carrier is flew 129,664 people as traffic figures were “heavily influenced” by lower demand.

However, Christmas bookings were positive, the airline said as it reported capacity down by 98% and a fall in load factor of 31 percentage points to 52.3%.

Norwegian Air operated just nine aircraft on average in December, mainly on domestic routes in Norway.

Chief executive Jacob Schram said: “The pandemic continues to have a negative impact on our business as it has had since March 2020.

“At the beginning of last year, Norwegian was headed for a positive result in 2020, instead 2020 has been a very challenging year and we now find ourselves fighting for survival.

“Despite low demand in December, Christmas bookings were positive, and we have succeeded in adapting our operations to the current situation.”

He added: “Our goal is to be a financially strong and competitive airline, with a new financial structure, a right-sized fleet and improved customer offering.

“The support from our customers, employees and suppliers this past year has been extraordinary. We all wish to travel and meet our friends and loved ones again and at Norwegian our focus continues to be to connect people in a safe and comfortable way.

“The vaccination is now being rolled out across the world and is good news for both the aviation industry and those who want to travel.

“We will be ready to meet the competition for customers after the Covid-19 pandemic. 2020 has been a tough year, but we will continue to fight and come out of this crisis as a stronger Norwegian.”

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