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Norwegian to keep to independent strategy

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Airline counts heavy cost of pilot strike and moves on
Norwegian aims to stay independent, despite having been approached by rival airlines for partnerships and “all sorts of arrangements”, the carrier’s chief executive Bjørn Kjos tells Reuters news agency. It also plans to extend its long-haul reach by launching new routes to South America and South Africa.
Rumours about possible link-ups with other airlines have arisen since a net loss last year and a damaging pilot strike this year raised doubts about its strategy.
“We have been approached by most of the airlines in Europe that want to work together with Norwegian,” Kjos told Reuters. “We have been asked about all sorts of arrangements”.
However, he refused to comment on reports that Norwegian had held talks with Ryanair during the recent strike. He said no concrete talks had been held with other airlines, adding, “We prefer to stay alone and go on with our own business model.”
The airline revealed on Friday that its traffic figures for March were strongly affected by the pilot strike, which resulted in NOK 350 million (€40.7 million) in additional costs and loss of revenue.
For the first time ever, Norwegian suffered a decline in the number of passengers compared with the same month the previous year. The decline was mainly in Scandinavia and due to the cancellation of almost 2,000 flights.
Cancelled flights amounted to a loss of NOK 120 million, while additional costs related to taking care of affected passengers reached NOK 110 million, the airline said. This includes buying tickets with other airlines as well as food and accommodation for stranded passengers. Also, loss of income through lost bookings ahead is estimated to be NOK 120 million.
Reuters / TTG Nordic
[photo courtesy Norwegian]

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