Belfast Telegraph

Struggling Norwegian Air reports £125m loss

Difficulties: chief Bjorn Kjos
Difficulties: chief Bjorn Kjos

By Ellie Donnelly

Shares in Norwegian Air fell by more than 11% in afternoon trading in Oslo yesterday after the group cut its capacity growth forecast for this year to 9%.

The struggling low-cost carrier had previously forecast growth of between 15 and 20% for the year.

The revised estimate from Europe's third-largest airline by passenger numbers came as the group reported a net loss of NOK 1.4bn (£125m) for 2018.

Norwegian Air said the difficulties were caused by engine issues, fuel hedging losses and tough competition.

It comes just three months after the carrier pulled its cross-Atlantic flights from Belfast to New York, blaming a lack of demand for the decision.

Total revenue at the airline was more than NOK 40bn (£3.6bn) for the 12 months, an increase of 30% compared to 2017, while passenger numbers climbed 13% to 37 million.

For the fourth quarter of 2018, the total revenue was NOK 9.7bn (£871m), an increase of 23% from the same period last year, primarily driven by international growth, as well as increased traffic in the Nordics.

Looking ahead, Norwegian chief executive Bjorn Kjos said the key priority was returning the firm to profitability through a series of measures, including an "extensive" cost-reduction scheme, an optimised route portfolio and the sale of aircraft.

Belfast Telegraph