"I know Ryanair is just waiting to get underway with their long-distance efforts, but we have taken all the planes,” Kjos gleefully told his audience at Oslo's BI Norwegian Business School. "This is what I hear when I ask [Ryanair CEO] Michael O’Leary how it’s going: ‘Bjørn, godammit, you’ve taken all the aircraft!’"
Kjos argued that while Norwegian had seen a string of damaging delays as a result of using the new aircraft, it had secured them ahead of its rivals.
“Those companies that have not positioned themselves for the future will not survive,” he said, according to Norway's Dagens Næringsliv business newspaper. “Be my guest if you want to fly with seven to eight-year-old aircraft.“
Kjos defended his decision to register new aircraft in Ireland, and to hire crews at lower wages in countries such as Thailand, arguing that any airline which attempted to keep Scandinavian cost levels was doomed.
“I believe we should accept that there are foreign staff who still want to work for lower wages,” he said. “In the construction, hotel and restaurant industries it is almost accepted that foreigners have taken over. I see no reason why that can’t happen in aviation also.”