Airline Norwegian gets post-Covid boost to profits and passenger numbers

Ritzau/The Local
Ritzau/The Local - [email protected] • 25 Aug, 2022 Updated Thu 25 Aug 2022 11:46 CEST
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A Norwegian aircraft prepares to land at Barcelona Airport. The company's passenger numbers are up after previous Covid-19-related struggles. File photo: JOSEP LAGO / AFP

Low-cost airline Norwegian, which operates several services out of Denmark and Sweden as well as Norway, says it can feel the effects on its bottom line of the end of Covid-19 travel restrictions.

The second quarter of 2022 saw Norwegian register profits totalling 1.2 billion Norwegian kroner. Just under five million passengers flew with the company, according to results published by Norwegian on Thursday.

In comparison, just 380,000 passengers flew with Norwegian during the corresponding quarter in 2021, when Covid-19 restrictions were still having major effects on the aviation sector.

The company suffered severely in 2020 as Covid-19 restrictions compounded existing economic difficulties.

It should be noted that the registered profit is due to a return of 2.1 billion kroner received by Norwegian in relation to advanced payments on aircraft purchases. Without this, the company would have registered a loss.

“The quarter shows we are good at adapting and that we can quickly adjust operations to an increasing demand,” Norwegian CEO Geir Karlsen said in a comment on the results.

“I am particularly pleased that we are among the very best on regularity in a period with capacity limitations in many airports and with a strike by flight mechanics in Norway,” he said.

Norwegian was able to operate almost all of its scheduled flights – 99.4 percent – in the second quarter.

The return of passengers has also seen the company fill more of its services to capacity. Average capacity on the airline’s flights in the second quarter was 81.2 percent.

The results also note an agreement with Boeing to purchase 50 aircraft, which will be supplied in the period 2025-28.

“The agreement with Boeing is important when we write the next chapter for Norwegian. The agreement makes it possible for us to own a large part of our own fleet, which strengthens our position in the Nordic region,” Karlsen said.

READ ALSO: Norwegian Air to seek bankruptcy protection in Norway

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