Norwegian’s traffic figures for May showed that Norwegian had 1.6 million passengers, an increase of 16 percent compared to the previous month.
“As we approach the busy summer months, we continue to ramp up production as planned to meet the increasing demand. Despite capacity constraints at certain airports, we manage to complete almost a 100 percent of our 400 daily scheduled flights with high punctuality,” said Geir Karlsen, CEO of Norwegian.
Punctuality, as measured by the number of flights departing within 15 minutes of scheduled time, was at 84.9 percent in May, an increase from 82.6 percent in April. As many as 97 percent of all flights arrived on schedule or no more than an hour late.
The number of passengers increases month by month, and the company notes that bookings for the summer period continue to grow. A lot of people have already booked tickets to sun and sand destinations and recently Norwegian has seen growth in the city destinations as well. During May, the company opened several new routes to serve the growing demand.
Norwegian had 1,628,040 passengers in May, as compared to 96,909 in May 2021. The load factor was 79.2 percent. The capacity (ASK) was 2,459 million seat kilometres, while actual passenger traffic (RPK) was 1,947 million seat kilometres. In May, Norwegian operated an average of 64 aircraft and 99.7 percent of scheduled flights were completed.
Norwegian has significantly increased its fleet as planned in 2022 and will operate 70 aircraft during the summer. Recently, Norwegian signed an agreement in principle with Boeing that will ensure delivery of new 737 MAX 8 aircraft in the years to come. A continued fleet renewal will give passengers an even more comfortable on-board experience in modern and fuel-efficient aircraft.
Norwegian has made a major decision to shut down its long-haul Boeing 787 Dreamliner network and concentrate on short-haul operations from Europe with this announcement:
Norwegian’s Board of Directors has outlined a simplified business structure and dedicated short haul route network. With this plan, Norwegian can build a robust and solid company that will attract investors and continue to serve new and existing customers.
Norwegian has long been recognized as an industry leader in low cost travel, winning numerous awards. The company will build on this foundation, focusing on its core Nordics business, operating a European short haul network with narrow body aircraft. The airline will continue to meet its customers’ needs by offering competitive fares across a broad range of domestic routes in Norway, across the Nordics and to key European destinations.
“Our short haul network has always been the backbone of Norwegian and will form the basis of a future resilient business model,” said Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian.
The current plan is to serve these markets with around 50 narrow body aircraft in operation in 2021 and to increase that number to around 70 narrow body aircraft in 2022. Furthermore, Norwegian targets to reduce its debt significantly to around NOK 20 billion and to raise NOK 4 – 5 billion in new capital through a combination of a rights issue to current shareholders, a private placement and a hybrid instrument. The company has received concrete interest in participation in the private placement. Norwegian has recently reinitiated a dialogue with the Norwegian government about possible state participation based on the new business plan.
The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly affected the entire aviation industry. Travel restrictions and changing government advice continue to negatively influence demand for long haul travel, and Norwegian’s entire Boeing 787 Dreamliner fleet has been grounded since March 2020. Future demand remains highly uncertain. Under these circumstances a long haul operation is not viable for Norwegian and these operations will not continue. The consequence of this decision is that the board of directors of the legal entities employing primarily long haul staff in Italy, France, the UK and the US have contacted insolvency practitioners. Norwegian will continue to assess profitable opportunities as the world adapts and recovers from the impact of COVID-19.
Customers with bookings affected by the future changes in our route network will be contacted directly and will be refunded. The examinership and reconstruction processes undertaken in Ireland and Norway will continue as planned, and the plan presented today is subject to approval by the Examiner and Reconstructor, support from the creditors and subsequently court approval.
In December, 129,664 customers flew with Norwegian, a decrease of 94 percent compared to the same period last year. The capacity (ASK) and total passenger traffic (RPK) were both down by 98 percent. The load factor was 52.3 percent, down 31 percentage points.
Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian, said: “The pandemic continues to have a negative impact on our business as it has had since March 2020. At the beginning of last year, Norwegian was headed for a positive result in 2020, instead 2020 has been a very challenging year and we now find ourselves fighting for survival. Despite low demand in December, Christmas bookings were positive, and we have succeeded in adapting our operations to the current situation. Our goal is to be a financially strong and competitive airline, with a new financial structure, a rightsized fleet and improved customer offering.”
“The support from our customers, employees and suppliers this past year has been extraordinary. We all wish to travel and meet our friends and loved ones again and at Norwegian our focus continues to be to connect people in a safe and comfortable way. The vaccination is now being rolled out across the world and is good news for both the aviation industry and those who want to travel. We will be ready to meet the competition for customers after the COVID-19 pandemic. 2020 has been a tough year, but we will continue to fight and come out of this crisis as a stronger Norwegian,”Schram said.
Norwegian operated nine aircraft on average in December, mainly on domestic routes in Norway. The company operated 95.6 percent of its scheduled flights in December, whereof 88.5 percent departed on time.
Norwegian Air Shuttle has issued this traffic report:
Norwegian’s traffic figures for November are strongly affected by lower demand due to travel restrictions in Europe. The bookings for Christmas look positive.
In November, 124,481 customers flew with Norwegian, 95 percent fewer than the same month last year. Total capacity (ASK) decreased by 96 percent while passenger traffic (RPK) decreased by 98 percent. The cabin factor was 44.4 percent, a decrease of 39 percentage points.
The pandemic continues to have a negative impact on our business. With travel restrictions throughout Europe, demand will be very low. The fact that vaccines are coming soon is good news for the aviation industry and we will compete for customers when it becomes possible to travel again. Our goal is now to create a financially strong and competitive airline with a new financial structure, an adapted size of the aircraft fleet and an improved range for our customers, says CEO Jacob Schram.
62 extra departures in Norway – Tickets for next summer are now available and it looks positive with the bookings. It is clear that people have started thinking about the summer holidays. It is also worth noting that the bookings for Christmas are good and we have set up 62 extra departures in Norway. We look forward to flying our customers home for Christmas, Schram continues. In total, Norwegian completed 72.7 percent of the planned flights in November, of which 94.8 percent went according to schedule.
Norwegian’s traffic figures for October are heavily influenced by lower demand caused by continued travel restrictions across Europe, with several new red zones.
In October, 319,477 customers flew with Norwegian, a decrease of 90 percent compared to the same period last year. The capacity (ASK) this month was down 93 percent, while the total passenger traffic (RPK) decreased by 96 percent. The load factor was 55.3 percent, down 32 percentage points.
Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian said: “The pandemic continues to have a negative impact on our business throughout the autumn as travel restrictions remain and new ones are imposed across large parts of Europe. As this pandemic will continue to affect travel for several more months, we will continue to adapt our route network in line with changing demand.”
The company operated 99.3 percent of its scheduled flights in October, whereof 95.6 percent departed on time.
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’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 is pleased to announce that in line with other European carriers and as a result of increased customer demand the airline will begin to operate flights between London Gatwick to Oslo, London Gatwick to Copenhagen, Edinburgh to Oslo and Edinburgh to Copenhagen from July 1. 2020.
London to Oslo will be operated seven times a week, London to Copenhagen six times a week, Edinburgh to Oslo and Copenhagen twice a week respectively.
Since April Norwegian has only operated eight aircraft on domestic routes in Norway. Now another 12 aircraft will re-join the fleet and be put into operation across Scandinavia to serve our popular core destinations.
From July Norwegian will operate 76 routes across Europe from the airline’s Scandinavian hubs compared to the 13 domestic Norway only flights served today. Other destinations include Spain, Greece and key European cities.
Further destinations and frequency increases will be announced in due course subject to passenger demand and government travel restrictions.
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.