Norwegian Air fleet flexibility leads to ‘all time high’ profits

Norwegian Air produced a record annual profit last year ahead of operating an expanded fleet of 90 aircraft this summer.

The Scandinavian low cost carrier said the figures demonstrated its ability to deliver strong results by reducing capacity when moving into the quieter winter period.

Pre-tax profit of NOK 1.8 billion (£135 million) was reported for 2023, including NOK 208 million in the fourth quarter.

The financial performance is projected to improve further this year, with an operating profit (EBIT) expected to be in the range of NOK 2.5 billion-NOK 3.2 billion, against NOK 2.2 billion last year.

Norwegian Air’s fleet comprised 87 aircraft at the end of 2023, including 20 latest technology Boeing 737 Max 8s.

Passenger carryings in the final quarter rose by 100,000 year-on-year to 4.7 million with the load factor up three percentage points to 84.4%.

Capacity was down 32% compared to the previous quarter, as the airline acted to match seasonally lower demand during the winter period. 

Punctuality fell in December as winter weather conditions impacted the operational performance at key airports.

The airline said it managed “through relentless efforts to ensure that close to all passengers made it home for the festive period”.

Looking forward, Norwegian Air added: “Current booking trends are encouraging, and the duration of the booking curve has improved compared to the two previous years, giving improved visibility.”

The reduced capacity level that matches seasonally lower demand will be maintained for the remainder of the winter schedule.

Capacity will then be ramped up from March onwards into the busy summer travel season. The company is growing its fleet to about 90 aircraft for the peak summer season.

Hailing “all-time high” profits for 2023, chief executer Geir Karlsen said: “Our loyal customer base continued to grow, and we are grateful for their trust in us.

“Colleagues across the entire company have worked tirelessly to ensure operational excellence, ranging from the planning of our network and services to everyday execution.”

Norwegian completed the acquisition of regional carrier Widerøe, with a fleet of 48 mainly turboprop aircraft, in January.

The deal will enable the linking of complementary route networks, create “significant operational synergies”, and provide additional diversification through Widerøe’s substantial public service obligation (PSO) operations.

Norwegian Air chief executive Geir Karlsen “We are now in the process of onboarding Widerøe as part of the Norwegian group. 

“I very much look forward to exchange decades of experience between the two airlines. 

“This will enable us to go to the market with an improved and more comprehensive offering to our customers.”


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