Business World

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Norwegian passenger numbers soar to record for July

During the month the airline carried almost 3.8 million people. Photo: PA
During the month the airline carried almost 3.8 million people. Photo: PA
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Scandinavian airline Norwegian has reported record passenger numbers for July.

During the month the airline carried almost 3.8 million people.

The total number of passengers increased by 13pc compared to the same month last year, the airline said yesterday.

"We have been through a long period of strong growth and going forward we will reap what we have sown for the benefit of our customers, staff and shareholders," said Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos.

The airline's load factor for the month was 93pc. Last week, IAG boss Willie Walsh gave the airline a maximum of a year to agree to a takeover deal.

IAG - which owns Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Level - snapped up a 4.6pc stake in Norwegian earlier this year. Mr Walsh said at the time that IAG would be interested in making an outright bid for the airline but he stressed that the window for thrashing out a deal was finite.

"There's no immediate hurry. But this time next year, if we haven't acquired Norwegian, we won't be holding those shares," he told the Irish Independent.

"If we're not acquiring it, we're not interested in being a shareholder. We'll wait and see what happens, but it's not a big issue on our agenda."

Norwegian, which operates services to the United States from Dublin, Cork and Shannon, is adding a service from the capital to Hamilton Toronto Airport next year.

In July, the airline reported a net profit of NOK 300m (€31.7m) for the second quarter of 2018, compared to a 691m krone (€73m) loss in the second quarter last year.

It was helped by a 19pc fall in non-fuel costs.

Shares in Norwegian were up 0.25pc in trading yesterday.

Irish Independent

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