Norwegian reports strong passenger growth and high load factor in the first quarter

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The FINANCIAL — Norwegian on April 29 reported its first quarter results for 2015. The net profit is -538 MNOK, an improvement of 57 MNOK from the previous year.

The quarterly results were affected by the pilot strike in Scandinavia and the weak Norwegian currency (NOK). The passenger growth outside Scandinavia is strong and the load factor is six percentage points higher than the same period last year. Future bookings are looking good, particularly on long-haul routes, according to Norwegian Airlines.

The total revenue in the first quarter was 4.034 BNOK, up 14 percent from the same quarter the previous year. The company carried almost five million passengers, a growth of two percent. The company’s traffic growth (RPK) was up 15 percent, which also means that Norwegian’s passengers fly considerably longer distances than they did a year ago. The load factor during the first quarter of 2015 was 83 percent, up six percentage points compared to the same quarter last year.

During the first quarter, Norwegian has taken delivery of two new Boeing 737-800s, in addition to one Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner in March/April. The company has also launched several new long-haul routes. Norwegian had an increase of 320,000 passengers in England and Spain during the first quarter compared to the same quarter last year. In Norway and Sweden, meanwhile, there was a decline of 190,000 passengers, mostly due to the pilot strike in Scandinavia. This was offset by Easter traffic, which came in the first quarter this year compared with the second quarter last year.

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“Traditionally, the first quarter is low season, and in addition the figures have been significantly affected by a weak Norwegian currency (NOK) against the dollar and the euro. At the same time, the pilot strike in Scandinavia made many customers choose our competitors. On a positive note, the passenger growth outside Scandinavia is strong, particularly on our long-haul routes. The passenger growth is especially strong at London Gatwick and future booking figures are looking good,” said CEO Bjørn Kjos.


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