Friday 19 July 2019

Turbulent times: Norwegian's Irish unit posts a loss of $151m

High flier: Tore Jenssen, CEO of Norwegian Air International
High flier: Tore Jenssen, CEO of Norwegian Air International
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Unfavourable routes, high fuel costs and incentives for passengers saw Ireland-based carrier Norwegian Air International - a unit of Norwegian Air Shuttle - post a loss of $151m (€133.6m) last year.

Norwegian has been one of the airlines worst affected by the worldwide grounding of Boeings 737 Max aircraft. It took delivery of its first Max 8 jet in 2017 and had 18 of the aircraft in service.

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The groundings upended its schedules and network capabilities. It suspended its US-bound flights from Cork and Shannon and was to initially deploy a 787 Dreamliner to service its routes from Dublin to the United States.

However, between March and the end of June it used an A330 aircraft leased from Spain's Evelop Airlines to operate the route between Dublin and New York's Stewart airport.

Norwegian Air International, whose Irish arm is led by CEO Tore Jenssen, also recently launched a service between Dublin and Toronto Hamilton and has been using a Boeing 737-800 on the route.

Accounts for Norwegian Air International, signed off just two weeks ago, note that it has been, and continues to actively seek aircraft deployment solutions in the wake of the Max groundings.

Grounded: The ill-fated 737 Max on Boeing’s production line
Grounded: The ill-fated 737 Max on Boeing’s production line

"Norwegian has, and is still working on reallocating the aircraft fleet to mitigate the consequences of the 737 Max 8 groundings," the accounts noted.

The loss incurred by Norwegian Air International last year was an improvement on the $445.7m loss it recorded a year earlier.

Its revenue declined to $1.73bn from $2.02bn.

"Norwegian continues to establish and develop an organisational structure that will secure cost-efficient, international expansion and necessary traffic rights for the future," the accounts note.

Irish Independent

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