Category Archives: Norwegian.com (Norwegian Air Shuttle)

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’s pilot and cabin crew companies in Sweden and Denmark file for bankruptcy

Norwegian Air Shuttle has made this announcement:

Due to the ongoing spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) most countries have advised against or have banned non-essential travel. The closure of borders and quarantine restrictions has effectively brought the entire airline industry to a halt. Consequently, almost all of Norwegian’s flight operations have been cancelled, while the costs for air crew remain. The pilots and cabin crew in Scandinavia are employed in subsidiaries in the Norwegian Group.

Unfortunately, despite the measures that the company has already taken to reduce costs, the Board of these companies are left with no choice but to apply for bankruptcy.

The decisions about filing for bankruptcies in the four crew subsidiaries were made by the respective boards on Monday April 20, 2020.

”The impact the Coronavirus has had on the airline industry is unprecedented. We have done everything we can to avoid making this last-resort decision and we have asked for access to government support in both Sweden and Denmark”, said CEO of Norwegian, Jacob Schram.

“Our pilots and cabin crew are the core of our business and they have done a fantastic job for many years. It is heart-breaking that our Swedish and Danish pilot and cabin crew subsidiaries now are forced to file for bankruptcy, and I’m truly sorry for the consequences this will have for our colleagues. We are working around the clock to get through this crisis and to return as a stronger Norwegian with the goal of bringing as many colleagues back in the air as possible,” Schram said.

In Norway, there are efficient furlough opportunities which means that the government pays for all salary related costs throughout the duration of the furlough period. Unfortunately, there is not the equivalent coverage in Sweden or Denmark schemes.

Despite the measures that the company has already taken, coupled with the lack of significant financial support from the Swedish and Danish governments, we are left with no choice.

The Board of the below companies in the Norwegian Group on April 20, 2020 decided to file for bankruptcy:

Norwegian Pilot Services Sweden AB

Norwegian Pilot Services Denmark ApS

Norwegian Cabin Services Denmark ApS

Norwegian Air Resources Denmark LH ApS

Due to the extraordinary situation (force majeure), Norwegian has also notified OSM Aviation that it has cancelled the crew provision agreements with several of its jointly owned OSM Aviation subsidiaries. These companies have crew based in Spain, UK, Finland, Sweden and the US.

The above actions will affect 1,571 pilots and 3,134 cabin crew. About 700 pilots and 1,300 cabin crew based in Norway, France and Italy are not affected.

The process of the subsidiaries filing for bankruptcy is now being managed by bankruptcy courts and bankruptcy trustees in the respective countries.

Video:

Norwegian to cancel 85 percent of its flights and temporarily layoff approximately 7,300 colleagues

Norwegian Air Shuttle made this announcement:

The COVID-19 situation is escalating by the hour and due to stagnating demand and enforced travel restrictions by authorities worldwide, Norwegian will gradually cancel most of its flights and temporarily lay off a major share of its workforce.

“What our industry is now facing is unprecedented and critical as we are approaching a scenario where most of our airplanes will be temporarily grounded. Several governments in Europe have already said that they will do everything they can to ensure that their airlines can continue to fly when society returns to normalcy. We appreciate that the authorities of Norway have communicated that they will implement all necessary measures to protect aviation in Norway, consequently securing crucial infrastructure and jobs,” said CEO Jacob Schram of Norwegian.

Norwegian has already discontinued a significant number of its flights and the main priority this week is to maintain as many scheduled flights as possible to ensure that customers are able to immediately return to their home destinations. The company will also work closely with the authorities to arrange flights for the benefit of stranded passengers, if necessary. Customers who are directly affected by route changes and cancellations will be contacted by Norwegian via text message or e-mail.

“We understand that this extraordinary situation is stressful for our customers, but I want to assure everyone that we are working around the clock to ensure that everyone is taken care of in the best way possible at this time,” said Schram.

As a result of most of the company’s planes being parked, Norwegian unfortunately has to temporarily lay off more than 7,300 colleagues in total which equates to approximately 90 per cent of its workforce, which includes pilots, cabin crew, maintenance and administrative staff. The layoff procedures vary from country to country and Norwegian’s team is already in constructive dialogues with union and HSE representatives at all its locations across the network.

“It is indeed with a heavy heart we have to temporarily lay off more than 7,300 of our colleagues, but we unfortunately have no choice. However, I want to emphasize that this is temporary, because when the world returns to normalcy my goal is to keep as many of our dedicated colleagues as possible,” said Schram.

Norwegian’s route network changes

-Thousands of flights have already been cancelled.

-As of March 21, the company will primarily fly a reduced scheduled domestically in Norway and between the Nordic capitals. Some European flights will be operated. All intercontinental are cancelled except flights between Scandinavia and Thailand (last flights at end of March).

-All flights that will be operating will be available for sale on Norwegian.com.

-Limited schedule will remain in place until at least April 17 but will be reviewed on a regular basis in line with changes in travel restrictions and demand.

Norwegian will continue to share updates with its customers, the financial market and the media once new measures are implemented.

Detailed reduced schedule – starting March 25

Norway:

Oslo -Bergen/Stavanger/Trondheim: 4 daily departures

Oslo – Ålesund/Bodø/Evenes/Tromsø: 2 daily departures

Oslo -Alta/Kirkenes: 1 daily departure

OSL – Haugesund/Kristiansand/Molde: 1 daily departure

Oslo – Svalbard: 3 weekly depatures

Oslo -Stockholm/Copenhagen: 2 daily departures

Oslo – Helsinki: 4 weekly departures

Stavanger – Bergen: 1 daily departure

Bergen – Trondheim: 1 daily departure

Sweden:

Stockholm – Kiruna: 4 weekly departures

Stockholm – Luleå/Umeå: 2 weekly departures

Stockholm – Helsinki: 2 daily departures

Stockholm – Copenhagen: 2 daily departures

Stockholm – Oslo: 2 daily departures

Finland:

Helsinki – Kittilä: 6 weekly departures

Helsinki – Oulu: 1 daily departure

Helsinki – Rovaniemi: 1 daily departure

Helsinki – Oslo: 4 weekly departures

Denmark:

Copenhagen – Oslo: 2 daily departures

Norwegian Air Shuttle aircraft photo gallery:

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:

Norwegian moves to San Francisco and Miami for higher yields

Norwegian has moved its Bay Area service from Oakland to San Francisco on March 31 for potential higher yields from the area.

This follows the move from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood to Miami for the same reason.

Miami issued this statement and photo:

Norwegian’s new service receives a water-cannon salute from Miami-Dade County.

Norwegian launched first-ever service at MiamiInternational Airport on March 31. The new service now gives travelers a daily nonstop option between MIA and London Gatwick Airport, aboard Norwegian’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft that seats 344 passengers in a two-class configuration.

Norwegian is one of four international airlines entering the Miami market within the next four months. On April 3, Moroccan national carrier Royal Air Maroc will launch the first-ever MiamiCasablanca route – MIA’s first passenger flights to Africa since the year 2000 and Florida’s only nonstop service to the continent. On June 1, LOT Polish Airlines will begin four weekly flights to Warsaw – MIA’s first-ever service to Poland and the only nonstop route between Florida and Eastern Europe. French airline Corsair will launch service to Paris Orly Airport on June 10 with four weekly flights.

Previously the airline made this announcement:

Norwegian move its existing London service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Miami International Airport and from Oakland International Airport to San Francisco International Airport.

The airline will move two of its existing London nonstop routes starting March 31, 2019. Service to London currently operated from Fort Lauderdale will move to Miami and from Oakland to San Francisco. Miami to London will be a daily service, while San Francisco to London service will be five times weekly. Economy fares from San Francisco to London start as low as $159.90 and from Miami at $159.90, one-way, including taxes.

Above Photo: Norwegian. Harvey Milk, American Civil Rights Activist featured on Norwegian’s 787 Dreamliner

Norwegian is also increasing frequencies on some of its Madrid, Paris and Rome service from other U.S. gateways for the summer 2019 schedule:

  • Denver to Paris will increase to three weekly flights, up from twice weekly.
  • Fort Lauderdale to Paris will increase to three weekly flights, up from twice weekly.
  • Los Angeles to Paris will increase to daily service, up from six weekly.
  • Los Angeles to Madrid will increase to four weekly flights, up from three weekly.
  • Los Angeles to Rome will increase to four weekly flights, up from three weekly.
  • New York to Madrid will increase to daily service, up from four weekly.
  • Oakland to Rome will increase to three weekly flights, up from twice weekly.
  • Orlando to Paris will increase to twice weekly service, up from once weekly.

Top Copyright Photo: Mark Durbin. Inbound flight number to SFO on March 31 was flight NRS 7173. 787-9 G-CKWE had the honor.

Norwegian suspends flights with Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, following recommendations by European aviation authorities

Delivered on September 24, 2018

Norwegian has issued this statement:

Following the decision by the relevant aviation regulatory bodies to temporarily suspend operations of Boeing 737 MAX, Norwegian will not operate any flights with this aircraft type until further notice. We remain in close dialogue with the aviation authorities and Boeing, and follow their instructions and recommendations.

Norwegian has more than 110 Boeing 737–800 aircraft in its fleet, which are not affected by this temporary suspension.

We would like to apologize to customers who will be affected by temporary cancellations and delays, but the safety and security of our customers and colleagues will never be compromised, and once authorities advise to cease operations we will of course comply.

Tomas Hesthammer, Norwegian’s acting Chief Operating Officer said:: “In response to the temporary suspension of Being 737 MAX operations by multiple aviation authorities we have taken the decision to not operate flights using this aircraft type, until advised otherwise by the relevant aviation authorities. We would like to apologize to customers for any inconvenienced caused, however, safety will always remain our top priority.”

Norwegian has 18 Boeing 737 MAX 8 in its fleet today. The total order of these aircraft is 110.

Norwegian followed-up with the additional statement:

Following the decision by the relevant aviation regulatory bodies to temporarily suspend operations of Boeing 737 MAX, Norwegian will not operate any flights with this aircraft type until further notice.

All aircraft that are currently airborne will continue to destination or return to home base. We are now working on re-allocating our fleet options with other aircraft types, re-bookings to other flights and combining flights to minimise inconvenience caused for our passengers. We would like to apologise to customers who are affected, but the safety and security of our customers and colleagues will never be compromised. Affected passengers will be informed via SMS and our web pages.

Top Copyright Photo: Norwegian.com (Norwegian Air International) (Ireland) Boeing 737-8 MAX 8 EI-FYI (msn 42834) (Arthur Collins, American radio communications pioneer) LGW (Antony J. Best). Image: 943737.

Norwegian (Ireland) aircraft slide show:

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Norwegian adds Miami and San Francisco; expands Boston routes

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Norwegian Long Haul) Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner LN-LNE (msn 34796) (Roald Amundsen) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 944579.

Norwegian will add two more European nonstop routes out of Boston’s Logan International Airport next summer, as well as move its existing London service from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Miami International Airport and from Oakland International Airport to San Francisco International Airport.

Norwegian offers the most nonstop routes from both California and Florida to Europe, and these moves will strengthen the airline’s operations in both states.

The new service from Boston to Rome will commence on March 31, 2019, and operate four times per week.

The new Madrid service will launch on May 2, 2019, and operate three times per week.

Both new routes will be summer seasonal only. Norwegian currently operates nonstop flights from Boston to London and Paris.

Additionally, the airline will move two of its existing London nonstop routes starting March 31, 2019. Service to London currently operated from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood will move to Miami and from Oakland to San Francisco. Miami to London will be a daily service, while San Francisco to London service will be five times weekly.

Norwegian is also increasing frequencies on some of its Madrid, Paris and Rome service from other U.S. gateways for the summer 2019 schedule:

  • Denver to Paris will increase to three weekly flights, up from twice weekly.
  • Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood to Paris will increase to three weekly flights, up from twice weekly.
  • Los Angeles to Paris will increase to daily service, up from six weekly.
  • Los Angeles to Madrid will increase to four weekly flights, up from three weekly.
  • Los Angeles to Rome will increase to four weekly flights, up from three weekly.
  • New York to Madrid will increase to daily service, up from four weekly.
  • Oakland to Rome will increase to three weekly flights, up from twice weekly.
  • Orlando to Paris will increase to twice weekly service, up from once weekly.

Norwegian will now operate from 17 airports in the United States, and offers more than 50 nonstop routes to Europe, as well as four routes from the U.S. to Guadeloupe and Martinique in the French Caribbean, and three routes out of Canada.

Top Copyright Photo: Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian.com) (Norwegian Long Haul) Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner LN-LNE (msn 34796) (Roald Amundsen) LAX (Michael B. Ing). Image: 944579.

Norwegian aircraft slide show:

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Norwegian and Spanish pilot union SEPLA sign collective agreement

Norwegian and Spanish pilot union SEPLA have signed a comprehensive collective bargaining agreement (CBA). The CBA will be valid for two years and represents an important step forward in one of the company’s most important markets. Earlier this week, Norwegian also signed a CBA for its long-haul crews based in Italy.

Spain is Norwegian’s second-largest market in passenger volume and the largest in number of staff.

SEPLA’s members will now vote on the agreement.

With 33 aircraft based in Spain this coming summer, and more operating bases than in all the Nordic countries put together, Spain is a key market for Norwegian.

This is the second CBA Norwegian signs in Spain, following the cabin crew collective back in June 2017 Elsewhere in Southern Europe, Norwegian has also signed CBAs with Italy’s short- and long-haul pilots and cabin crew The Italian long-haul CBA was signed earlier this week.

Norwegian keeps eight operating bases in Spain, all of them year-round: Alicante, Barcelona (two bases: one short- and one long-haul), Gran Canaria, Madrid, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, and Tenerife South. The company employs 2,190 people in Spain. Norwegian carried 8.46m passengers in Spain in 2017, a 24 per cent increase on the previous year.

Photo: Norwegian.