Norwegian Air suffered a 94% slump in passenger numbers last month against March last year.

The budget airline’s traffic figures were impacted by weak demand as a result of international government travel restrictions.

The Scandinavian carrier, undergoing restructuring after being hit by the Covid pandemic, flew 71,399 passengers in March as it ran reduced domestic services with just nine aircraft mainly on domestic routes in Norway.

However, the year-on-year decline represented an increase of about 10,000 passengers over February, helped by pre-Easter holiday travel.

Capacity was down 97% and the load factor dropped 29 percentage points to 42.7% compared to March last year.

Chief executive Jacob Schram said: “The effects of the pandemic continue to impact our operations due to government restrictions on travel to reduce infection levels.

“However, the clear progress that has been made with vaccine schemes, and other measures aimed at a gradual opening up of society, means that I am optimistic with regards to increased activity and demand both in Norway and the rest of Europe going forward.”