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Norwegian reports 12 per cent passenger growth in March

Norwegian carried close to 2.4 million passengers in March, an increase of 12 per cent compared to the same month last year. The figures are negatively influenced by lower demand in March because Easter is in April, compared to last year.

A total of 2,453,551 passengers chose to fly with Norwegian in March, 258,514 more than the same period last year. The total traffic growth (RPK) increased by 16 per cent, while the capacity growth (ASK) increased by 22 per cent. The load factor was 84.1 percent, down 3.8 percentage points. The period is influenced by the fact that Easter is in April this year (compared to March last year), consequently reducing the unit revenue by approximately 10 per cent.

Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos: “We are very pleased to see that more passengers chose to fly Norwegian. The growth is primarily driven by our international traffic, which is becoming increasingly important in the company’s global expansion.”

Norwegian operated 99.5 percent of the scheduled flights in March, whereof 78.5 percent departed on time.

Norwegian took delivery of three Boeing 737-800s and one Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in March. This year, Norwegian will take delivery of nine 787-9s, 17 737-800s and six 737 MAX.

Meanwhile, Norwegian is continuing its transatlantic expansion by launching two new routes:  from London Gatwick to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, operating four weekly flights will operate on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday; and a brand new year-round service from Gatwick to Denver International Airport twice a week on Tuesday and Saturday during the summer season, which will increase to a three weekly service in the winter with an additional Thursday departure.
Thomas Ramdahl, Chief Commercial Officer at Norwegian said: “Our new Seattle and Denver routes reflect the huge consumer demand on both sides of the Atlantic for quality affordable long-haul travel. With our USA flights over 90 per cent full, we are excited to add Seattle to our growing list of US destinations while breaking the monopoly on UK flights to Denver.

Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos received an ‘Outstanding Contribution to Aviation’ award from the Irish aviation industry last week, which he described as a “true honour” and dedicating it to the huge support Norwegian has received across Ireland in recent years.

To support Norwegian’s European and global growth, an Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) was established in 2013 with a headquarters in Dublin – NAI now has nearly 2,100 pilots and crew, with 57 Irish-registered aircraft operating over 260 flights each day from 11 European bases.

Earlier this year it was announced that NAI will also operate 19 new weekly transatlantic flights from Cork, Shannon and Dublin to the US east coast this summer. As well as delivering new routes and significant economic benefits on both sides of the Atlantic, Norwegian is also establishing two new pilot and crew bases in the US to serve the routes, creating several hundred jobs.

Speaking at Ireland’s Aviation Gala Ball, organised by the Irish Aviation Authority in Dublin Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos said: “This award is a tremendous honour but there are many people that helped me and Norwegian to get here today. I want to thank the aviation industry and particularly the Irish community for their huge support throughout Norwegian’s growth.

“Securing a US permit simply wouldn’t have been possible without the huge support we received across Ireland. In particular I want to thank the Irish Government, including An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, the current Minister of Transport, Shane Ross and two of his former predecessors, and a very special thank you to Eamonn Brennan from the IAA for all his assistance. Thanks also to the many airports, airlines and business groups who helped push this issue continuously.

“Receiving our US permit was a victory for passengers above all, allowing us to offer new routes and more choice as well as hundreds of new jobs in Europe and the US. New routes, greater competition and more jobs – exactly what we promised and exactly what the Open Skies agreement is for.

“Thank you again for this accolade – it is a true honour but I wouldn’t be here without your help so I would like to dedicate it to everyone in Ireland that has supported us over the last few years.”

Date: April 10, 2017

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