Category Archives: Norwegian Air International

Norwegian to reorganize its assets under Irish law

Norwegian Air Shuttle made this announcement:

Following the government of Norway’s decision to withhold further support from the airline, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA has decided to initiate an examinership process in Ireland relating to its subsidiary Norwegian Air International Limited (NAI), its wholly-owned asset company Arctic Aviation Assets DAC (AAA) and some of AAA’s subsidiaries; Norwegian will also enter in and get protection of the Irish Examinership process as a related party.

Norwegian has chosen an Irish process since its aircraft assets are held in Ireland. Norwegian has taken this decision in the interest of its stakeholders.

The purpose of the process is to reduce debt, rightsize the fleet and secure new capital. This reorganisation process protects the assets of the Norwegian group while allowing the company to focus on the rightsizing of the group. The process is estimated to take up to five months.

Norwegian will continue to operate its route network (currently limited due to the Covid situation) and trade as normal on the Oslo Stock Exchange (Oslo Børs). Norwegian Reward will continue as normal honouring and earning CashPoints for its members. Safeguarding as many jobs as possible, while rightsizing its asset base, will continue to be a top priority for the management team throughout this process.

Jacob Schram, Norwegian CEO, said: “Seeking protection to reorganise under Irish law is a decision that we have taken to secure the future of Norwegian for the benefit of our employees, customers and investors. Our aim is to find solutions with our stakeholders that will allow us to emerge as a financially stronger and secure airline.”

The process of examinership in Ireland allows financially sustainable businesses to address elements of the business which require restructuring with the aim of protecting jobs and preserving the core value of the business. This protection, through a court appointed examiner, ultimately allows a company to secure new capital and implement a legally binding scheme for the settlement of debts.

“Our intent is clear. We will emerge from this process as a more financially secure and competitive airline, with a new financial structure, a rightsized fleet and improved customer offering,” said Schram.

Based on Norwegian’s current cash position and the projections going forward, the company believes it has sufficient liquidity to go through the above-mentioned process.

Norwegian commits to reduce CO2 emissions by 45 percent by 2030

Norwegian Air Shuttle made this announcement:

Norwegian has launched a new environmental sustainability strategy that will begin immediately and deliver several industry leading targets. Cutting CO2 emissions by 45 percent, remove all non-recyclable plastics and recycle all single-use plastics are key commitments in the new strategy. The goal is in line with the 1.5°C target set forth in the Paris Agreement.

Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian, said: “At Norwegian we take our responsibility towards the environment seriously, and that is why we must look to the future and implement a strategy that produces immediate and tangible benefits for the environment today. Norwegian will continue to instigate a positive change across the industry in this field that will benefit not only the environment but also our customers and our business. The low-cost business model is the sustainability model as it enables efficient energy and resource management.”

Will require 500 million litres sustainable aviation fuels

To limit global warming to 1.5°C, carbon emissions must be reduced by 45 percent by 2030 compared to 2010 levels, according to the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2018). We commit to improve the carbon efficiency of our operations and will reduce our carbon emissions by 45 percent per passenger kilometer (RPK) by 2030 – compared to 2010 levels. This will be achieved through both fleet renewal and sustainable aviation fuels.

The airline commits to utilising between 16 and 28 percent sustainable aviation fuels by the end of the decade, depending on the level of fleet renewal. The target amounts to up to 500 million litres sustainable aviation fuels by 2030.

To achieve this important goal, it is also crucial to get in place a regulatory framework that actively rewards carbon efficiency and increases both the production and use of sustainable aviation fuel.

Jacob Schram said: “We encourage producers to ramp up production of sustainable aviation fuels. Norwegian will be actively engaging with producers to kick start this vital contribution to the industry and take advantage of the emission savings that these fuels offer.”

Will remove all non-recyclable plastics

Initial elements of the sustainability strategy will also include a 100 percent reduction of non-recyclable plastics and 100 percent recycling of single-use plastics by 2023.

Anders Fagernæs, Norwegian Head of Environmental Sustainability, said: “More sustainable and smarter options are becoming a greater part of the considerations that customers make when choosing which airline to fly with. We will champion this attitude and become the customers sustainable choice by reducing and recycling plastic waste, promoting sustainable aviation fuel and continuing to fly one of the world’s youngest fleets to achieve a 45 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030.”

A solid foundation

Norwegian is already one of the world’s leading fuel-efficient carriers due to its modern fuel-efficient aircraft. Norwegian was the first airline to sign the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) pledge, committing to become carbon neutral by 2050.

The airline was also voted the world’s most fuel-efficient airline on transatlantic routes in 2015 and 2018 by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) and since 2010 the airline has reduced its emissions by 28 percent.

Norwegian August 2020 traffic figures heavily influenced by travel restrictions and drop in demand

Norwegian Air Shuttle made this announcement:

Norwegian’s traffic figures for August are heavily influenced by the COVID-19 outbreak and the subsequent travel restrictions and drop in demand. In August, capacity was 94% lower than last year, while the flights that were operated had a load factor of 62.1%.

From July 1 Norwegian reopened 76 routes and put an additional 15 aircraft into service, throughout the summer frequencies and routes were adjusted in accordance with variations in passenger demand linked to changing government travel restrictions and advice.

Compared to the same period last year total capacity (ASK) decreased by 94 percent while total passenger traffic (RPK) decreased by 96 percent. Load factor was 62.1 percent, down 27.9 percentage points. The total number of customers carried in August was 313,316 a decrease of 91 percent.

Norwegian on August 28, 2020 reported its results for the first half year of 2020. The figures are as expected heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with a net loss of NOK 5.3 billion. During the first half of 2020, 5.31 million customers travelled with the company; a decrease of 71 percent compared to the same period last year. Norwegian successfully converted debt, gained access to state guaranteed loans of NOK 3 billion and conducted a public offering, in addition to implementing a series of cost-reduction measures. Still, Norwegian is facing challenging times ahead.

Before COVID-19, Norwegian had guided the market of a profitable 2020 and the best summer ever. Strict government travel advice and the following drop in customer demand forced Norwegian to ground 140 aircraft and furlough or lay off approximately 8,000 employees. In the second quarter, Norwegian only operated 7-8 aircraft on domestic routes in Norway. Following a successful restructuring process, the company gained access to the Norwegian government’s loan guarantee of NOK 3 billion and an additional NOK 0.3 billion from commercial banks.

“When we entered 2020, we were expecting a positive result and the best summer ever, thanks to successful cost-saving initiatives and a more efficient operation. Then we were hit by COVID-19 and customer demand literally stopped from one day to the next, as government-imposed travel restrictions and travel advice were introduced world-wide. For the past months we have been working tirelessly to make sure that we can emerge from this crisis as a stronger company, well-positioned for future competition. Some of these measures have been painful, but totally necessary if we are to make it through at all. Creditors, bondholders and shareholders have shown us support and trust to find a way forward for the company and our customers are expressing their strong support, for which I am grateful. And not least, I am extremely proud of all our Red Nose Warriors who are keeping up a positive spirit,” said CEO Jacob Schram.

During the first six months of 2020, 5.3 million customers travelled with Norwegian, compared to 18.1 million during the same period previous year. Production (ASK) was down by 69 percent and passenger traffic (RPK) decreased by 72 percent. The load factor was 78.2 percent, a decrease of 6.5 percentage points compared to the first half of 2019. Both load factor and production are adjusted according to the government mandatory blocking of middle seats on domestic routes in Norway in the second quarter of 2020.

Punctuality was at 87.2 percent, an improvement of 7.3 percentage points compared to the first half of 2019.

Poor visibility creates uncertainty ahead

On July 1, Norwegian reopened 76 routes, put an additional 15 aircraft into service and brought more than 600 employees back to work. The market is still highly uncertain, mainly due to changing travel advice from governments across Europe. As the government changes its travel advice, demand is immediately impacted. Going forward the company will continue to adjust its route portfolio in line with demand and government travel advice.

“The COVID-19 crisis has impacted aviation and the travel industry particularly hard, and most companies need government support to survive. We see that many of our main competitors receive considerable liquidity support from their governments as aviation represents the backbone of infrastructure. We are thankful for the loan guarantee made available to us by the Norwegian government which we worked hard to obtain. However, given the current market conditions it is not enough to get through this prolonged crisis,” Schram said.

Norwegian finalizes recapitalization and secures state aid

Norwegian Air Shuttle has made this announcement:

Norwegian confirms that the restructuring is completed and that the state loan guarantee of in total NOK 3 billion has been approved. The company has now converted NOK 12.7 billion of debt to equity and laid a solid foundation for the future, although the next months will remain challenging.

“I want to thank everyone who has supported the company during this unprecedented crisis that has affected the entire the airline industry: The Government and Parliament; customers; employees: shareholders; leasing companies; creditors; bondholders, the travel industry and other Norwegian supporters. Now that we can access the state loan guarantee, we can continue to transform the company. Through this process, the belief in New Norwegian and the company’s strategy have been confirmed by shareholders, the market, bondholders, leasing companies, other creditors and lenders. Nevertheless, the months ahead will remain challenging and with a high degree of uncertainty for the industry. Norwegian will still need to collaborate closely with a number of creditors as the company currently has limited revenues,” said CEO Jacob Schram.

Since the end of 2018, Norwegian has taken significant actions to restructure its operations and return to profitability. The company was on the path to deliver a positive net profit in 2020, and this summer was set to be the strongest in the company’s history. Instead, the coronavirus outbreak and global travel restrictions has led to a substantial drop in demand.

The Company has seized this time as an opportunity to restructure and develop a new strategy and business plan – New Norwegian – for a strengthened airline to re-emerge when travel restrictions are lifted and demand returns.

“In addition to securing that the company survives this crisis, our goal has been that Norwegian should have a strong position in the future airline industry, with a clear direction and strategy. This will ensure sustainable operations and a structure that will be to the benefit of both shareholders, customers and colleagues,” says Schram.

Norwegian Air Shuttle aircraft photo gallery:

Norwegian Air calls for a special meeting on May 4 to discuss its future

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian Air) is basically in hibernation as its plans its future. The beleaguered airline has called for a special meeting on May 4, 2020.

At that meeting, the management of the company is expected to present a new restructuring plan that will see a much smaller airline if approved. Creditors will be asked to exchange debt for equity.

The company is also planning a hibernation phase that will last until next winter.

Read more from Forbes.

Norwegian aircraft photo gallery:

Norwegian to suspend more than 4,000 flights and implement layoffs

Norwegian Air Shuttle has made this announcement:

Following the U.S. ban on travel from most of Europe and the escalating coronavirus situation, Norwegian has decided to ground 40 percent of its long-haul fleet and cancel up to 25 percent of its short-haul flights until the end of May. The changes apply to the company’s entire route network.

Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian said: “This is an unprecedented situation and our main priority continues to be the care and safety of our customers and colleagues. The new restrictions imposed further pressure on an already difficult situation. We urge international governments to act now to ensure that the aviation industry can protect jobs and continue to be a vital part of the global economic recovery.”

40 percent of long-haul capacity to be cancelled

From March 13th to March 29th, we will cancel the majority of our long-haul flights to the U.S. from Amsterdam, Madrid, Oslo, Stockholm, Barcelona and Paris.

From March 13th to the end of May, all flights between Rome and the U.S. will be cancelled.

From March 29th until the end of April, all flights from Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Amsterdam, Athens and Oslo to the U.S. will be cancelled.

All routes between London Gatwick and the U.S. will continue to operate as normal. Our goal is to reroute as many of our customers as possible through London during this difficult period.

The short-haul network heavily impacted

Norwegian will also cancel a large share of its domestic flights in Norway and flights within Scandinavia, such as Oslo-Copenhagen and Oslo-Stockholm. Flights to Italy will also be cancelled. Domestic and intra-Scandinavian flights will be combined to re-protect our customers.

Customers booked to travel on affected flights will be contacted to discuss their options including rebooking onto a flight at a later date. Due to a high number of enquires we encourage all customers to check our website www.norwegian.com/updates for the latest travel advice. If your travels are past April 15th, 2020, please refrain from contacting our Customer Care team at this time.

Layoffs

During a pandemic it is Norwegian’s policy to prioritize and safeguard the health and well-being of employees while ensuring Norwegian’s ability to maintain essential operations and continue providing services to our customers.

Due to the extraordinary market situation as a result of the coronavirus, and thus a dramatic drop in customers and subsequent production decline, we must look at all possible measures to reduce costs. This unfortunately also includes temporary layoffs of up to 50 percent of our employees and the number may increase. All departments will be affected by the temporary layoffs.

We have initiated, in consultation with the unions, a discussion and mapping process and will then return with leave notices to affected departments, stations and employees.

Norwegian Air Shuttle aircraft photo gallery:

Norwegian drops 22 long-haul flights to the United States

Norwegian has made this announcement:

Norwegian has during the past few days experienced reduced demand on some routes, particularly on future bookings. Bookings for flights departing in the coming weeks are less affected. The company has decided to cancel 22 long-haul flights between Europe and the U.S. from March 28 to May 5. Norwegian has a limited number of flights to Northern Italy and other regions heavily affected by the virus. In addition, the company has a higher share of leisure traffic, which seem less affected than business traffic. The company has also already reduced its capacity by up to 15 percent in 2020. Norwegian is monitoring the developments closely and is continuously evaluating additional changes to its schedule.

The following routes are affected: Rome – Los Angeles; Rome – Boston; Rome – New York (reduced number of departures during selected weeks on all these routes) and London – New York (three daily departures are reduced to two on some days).

Affected customers will be contacted by Norwegian and offered a new itinerary.

Given the uncertainty and ongoing impact on overall demand for air travel, Norwegian withdraws its 2020 guidance provided to the market on February 13, 2020. At this stage, it is too early to assess the full impact on our business.

Norwegian aircraft photo gallery:

Norwegian discontinues its transAtlantic Boeing 737 MAX routes

Norwegian.com (Norwegian Air Sweden) Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 SE-RTE (msn 42838) BFI (Joe G. Walker). Image: 947301.

Norwegian has made this announcement:

Norwegian will discontinue its transAtlantic routes originally operated by the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft this September. The decision follows months of substitute aircraft and wetlease operations covering the airline’s routes due to the global grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft. There are no changes to the 46 nonstop routes operated by the Dreamliner from the United States to Europe.

“Since March, we have tirelessly sought to minimize the impact on our customers by hiring, so called wetleasing, replacement aircraft to operate services between North America and Ireland. However, as the return to service date for the 737 MAX remains uncertain, this solution is unsustainable,” said Matthew Robert Wood, Senior Vice President Commercial Long-Haul and New Markets, Norwegian.

In March, Norwegian managed to implement a back-up plan within 24 hours of the Boeing 737 MAX grounding, accommodating all customers booked on the airline’s 737 MAX routes from both New York Stewart International Airport and Providence, as well as launch the new route from Hamilton/Toronto, Canada, to Dublin.

Nonstop services to Cork and Shannon ended in March with the grounding of the 737 MAX aircraft and passengers were rerouted to Dublin flights out of both Providence and Stewart. The service to Dublin from the two U.S. cities and, also Hamilton, Canada, continued, but will now end with the last flight from the U.S. – both Providence and Stewart – on September 14, arriving in Dublin on September 15. The last flight from Hamilton, Canada, will depart September 13. Norwegian will no longer operate any substitute aircraft for the 737 MAX.

This will not affect the airline’s other long-haul services, operated by its Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet. Norwegian currently operates 46 routes from the U.S. to Europe this summer season, more than any other European airline.

Norwegian would like to thank the partners that made it possible to launch its transatlantic MAX operations back in 2017, specifically the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New York Stewart International Airport, Providence’s T.F. Green Airport and Tourism Ireland, as well as the John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport.

Top Copyright Photo: Norwegian.com (Norwegian Air Sweden) Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 SE-RTE (msn 42838) BFI (Joe G. Walker). Image: 947301.

 

Norwegian’s financial turnaround moves in the right direction: Increased revenue and reduced cost

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Norwegian Long Haul) Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner LN-LNR (msn 38784) (Freddie Mercury, British Rock Legend) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 946965.

Norwegian has made this announcement:

Norwegian’s second quarter results are characterized by reduced growth and improved profitability, in line with the company’s strategy. Despite the reduced production growth and grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, the underlying operating result before ownership costs more than doubled from the same quarter in 2018.

The underlying operating result before ownership costs was more than 2.3 billion Norwegian kroner (NOK), the highest ever in a second quarter and NOK 1.2 billion higher than last year.The unit revenue (RASK) increased by 13 percent, and the revenue per passenger per kilometer (yield) increased by 11 percent. For the second quarter, the total revenue was more than NOK 12 billion, an increase of 19 percent from the same period last year, primarily driven by intercontinental growth. Almost 10 million passengers flew with Norwegian this quarter, on par with the same quarter in 2018. The load factor was 88 percent, up 1.2 percentage points from last year.

Norwegian’s key priority is returning to profitability through a series of measures, including an optimized route portfolio and an extensive cost-reduction program. The production growth (ASK) in the second quarter was six percent, down from the peak growth of 48 percent in the second quarter of 2018. The company’s internal cost reduction program #Focus2019 continues with full effect and achieved cost reductions this quarter were NOK 554 million, consequently reaching the goal of NOK 1 billion so far in 2019.

“Norwegian’s Q2 results show that we are delivering on our strategy of moving from growth to profitability. Despite operational issues outside of our control, like the grounding of our 737 MAX fleet, we are delivering the highest second quarter operating revenue in the history of Norwegian. I am also pleased with the booking figures for the coming months, especially on long-haul,” said CEO of Norwegian, Bjørn Kjos.

During the second quarter, Norwegian has introduced four Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners to its fleet. With an average age of only 3.8 years, Norwegian’s fleet is one of the most fuel efficient and most modern in the world.

MAX update
In March, Norwegian temporarily suspended operation of 18 Boeing MAX 8 aircraft. The company has combined flights, booked customers to other departures within Norwegian’s own network, consequently reducing the impact on passengers. The company will continue to limit passenger disruptions by also offering flights with wetlease companies whenever necessary.

The 737 MAX grounding has affected both demand, operating expenses and production negatively. Norwegian expects the negative impact on the 2019 results to be approximately NOK 700 million.

In other news, CEO Bjorn Kjos (above) has stepped down.

The airline made this announcement:

After 17 years as the CEO of Norwegian Air Shuttle, Bjørn Kjos will leave the position and continue in a new role as an advisor to the Chairman, with effect from July 11th. Until Norwegian appoints a new CEO, CFO Geir Karlsen will act as interim CEO, while Chairman Niels Smedegaard will take on a more active role in the management.

“I am very pleased Bjørn will remain at the company as an advisor to the Board and the Chair. As Norwegian moves from growth to profitability, it will be an advantage for the company to benefit from Bjørn’s extensive network, in-depth knowledge of and experience with global aviation. We have already started the process of recruiting a permanent new CEO,” said Niels Smedegaard, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Norwegian.

“I am confident that the Board of Directors will find the best qualified successor to lead the next chapters of the Norwegian story together with the top management team. Leaving the exciting future tasks to a new CEO and taking on a new challenge as an advisor, is a set-up I am very happy with. I look forward to spending more time working on specific strategic projects that are crucial to the future success of Norwegian,” said Bjørn Kjos.

Bjørn Kjos is one of the founders of Norwegian Air Shuttle. During his tenure as CEO, the company has developed from a small domestic operation with 130 employees and four aircraft to a global and award-winning low-cost airline with more than 11,000 employees and 162 aircraft.

“Bjørn has played an unprecedented role in Norwegian’s success. His vision of offering affordable fares for all, combined with his enthusiasm and innovating spirit, has revolutionized the way people travel for pleasure and for business, not least between the continents. Bjørn is definitely one of the most influential European entrepreneurs of our time,” Smedegaard said.

Following a demanding period of financial and operational challenges, fueled by significant investments, Norwegian changed its strategy from growth to profitability in 2018. Going forward, the company will harvest from its rapid global growth and investments. Running a profitable business and boosting company value to the benefit of shareholders, customers and employees will be key for the CEO going forward.

“We have to ensure that Norwegian is well prepared and positioned to handle volatile markets and unexpected events. It is crucial that we continue to deliver on our cost reduction initiatives and that we constantly ensure that we have a route portfolio that yields profit. It is also important that the new CEO develops an organization that embraces continued improvement and operational excellence,” Smedegaard added.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Norwegian Long Haul) Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner LN-LNR (msn 38784) (Freddie Mercury, British Rock Legend) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 946965.

Norwegian aircraft slide show:

Norwegian delays deliveries, reports increased revenues and reduced costs in the first quarter

"Freddie Mercury, British Rock Legend"

Norwegian Air has come to an agreement with both Airbus and Boeing to reschedule the delivery of its aircraft to reduce its capital spending.

Norwegian has also reported its first quarter results. The quarter was characterised by reduced costs, increased revenue and significantly improved on-time performance. The net loss was NOK 1,489 million ($171.7 million), while the company’s unit cost excluding fuel decreased by 8 percent during the same period. The total revenue was NOK 8 billion, up 14 percent.

The airline continued;

Norwegian’s key priority is returning to profitability through a series of measures, including an extensive cost-reduction program, an optimized route portfolio and sale of aircraft. The company’s internal cost reduction program #Focus2019 has been implemented, achieved cost reductions were NOK 467 million this quarter. The company has also strengthened its balance sheet through a fully underwritten rights issue of NOK 3 billion, which secures a stronger financial position. The company is well positioned to continue to attract new customers, not least in the long-haul market, where the development is stronger than in the short-haul market.

For the first quarter, the total revenue was NOK 8 billion, an increase of 14 percent from the same period last year, primarily driven by intercontinental growth and increased traffic in the Nordics. More than 8 million passengers flew with Norwegian this quarter, a growth of 9 percent. The load factor was 81 percent. The company’s unit cost excluding fuel, decreased by 8 per cent compared to the first quarter in 2018. The punctuality increased significantly this quarter, from 73 to 81.3 percent. The regularity was unchanged at 98.7 percent.

“I’m pleased with the positive developments this quarter, despite the 737 MAX issues. We have taken a series of initiatives to improve profitability by reducing costs and increasing revenue. We are optimising our base structure and route network to streamline the operation as well as divesting aircraft, postponing aircraft deliveries and not least implementing our internal cost reduction program, which will boost our financials. I am also pleased that booking figures and overall demand for the coming months look promising,” said CEO of Norwegian, Bjørn Kjos.

Productive meetings with Boeing

In March, Norwegian temporarily suspended operation of 18 Boeing MAX 8 aircraft. The company combined flights and booked customers to other departures within Norwegian’s own network, consequently reducing the impact on passengers. The company will continue to limit passenger disruptions by also offering flights with wetlease companies whenever necessary. The number one goal is to operate its schedule according to plan.

“Our dedicated colleagues at Norwegian have been working day and night to find solutions for our customers. They will continue to do their utmost to ensure that all flights continue to depart as planned, regardless of how long the MAX stays out of service,” Kjos continued.

“We have had some productive meetings with Boeing where we have discussed how we can maneuver through the difficulties the MAX situation is causing Norwegian,” Kjos added.

Top Copyright Photo (all others by the airline): Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Norwegian Long Haul) Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner LN-LNR (msn 38784) (Freddie Mercury, British Rock Legend) AMS (Ton Jochems). Image: 946289.

Norwegian aircraft slide show: