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Formed in 1993, by some ex-Braathens (BRT) employees, following the dismantling of an ex-(BRT) subsidiary, "Busy Bee Airservice." Domestic and regional, scheduled & charter, passenger and cargo, jet airplane services.
NO-1330 Fornebu, Norway
The Kingdom of Norway was established in 1814, it covers an area of 32,878 sq km, its population is 4.5 million, its capital city is Oslo, and its official language is Norwegian.
Norway is on top in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita and spending power, and Norwegians are amongst the most frequent travellers in the world, both for business and private purposes. Oslo is a significant business destination and the natural starting point for exploring Scandinavia’s world famous tourist attractions.
August 2002: Domestic services between Oslo, and Trondheim. Regional service from Stavanger, to Newcastle, UK. Most services are operated on behalf of Braathens (BRT), which was taken over by Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) in 2001.
Plans to add 6 737-300's during 4th Q: 3 Transavia (TAV) leased; 2 ex-Varig (VAR); and 1 Boeing (TBC) leased; for startup of no-frills, domestic service, connecting Oslo (Gardermoen), with Bergen, Stavanger, and Trondheim (6 daily round trips), plus to Tromso (2 daily round trips).
2 737-300's, (ILF) 5 year leased. 1 737-500, (ILF) leased 5 months.
September 2002: Adopts new brand name "Norwegian" changing from "Norwegian Air Shuttle," to concentrate on domestic low-cost operations.
2 737-36Ns (28564; 28671), ex-Varig (VAR), (GECAS) (GEF) leased.
October 2002: 2 orders 737-500's leased.
November 2002: In October 2002, carried 81,022 passengers (+23% from September 2002).
737-3K2 (24329, LN-KKI "Helge Ingstad"), (ILF) leased.
December 2002: In April 2003, Tromso to Andenes to Bodo, and Tromso to Lakselv.
February 2003: In April 2003, Oslo to Faro, Malaga, & Murcia.
March 2003: In May 2003, Oslo to Bodo; Oslo to Harstad/Narvik; Tromso to Trondheim (all daily).
May 2003: 737-3YO (24910), leased to Astraeus (AUA) until September 2003, and wet-leased to Icelandic Express.
June 2003: Oslo to Molde (6x-weekly).
August 2003: Oslo to Alesund. Oslo to Alta. Bergen to Stavanger, Trondheim. In September 2003, Oslo to Stockholm (ARN). In January 2004, Oslo to Salzburg (3x-weekly).
October 2003: In December 2003, Oslo to Grenoble (weekly).
November 2003: In April 2004, Oslo to Pisa (2x-weekly); Bergen to Nice (weekly); & Oslo to Nice (2x-weekly); Oslo to Berlin; Oslo to Budapest (2x-weekly); & June 2004, Oslo to Dubrovnik (weekly).
December 2003: Began trading on the Oslo exchange. Its Initial Public Offering (IPO) was 7x- oversubscribed and raised NOK250 million/$37.1 million.
In April 2004, Bergen to Murcia (weekly). Stavanger to Nice (weekly). Oslo to Prague (3x-weekly).
January 2004: 2003 = 1.23 million passengers (PAX); 71% LF load factor.
March 2004: Oslo to Nice (2x-weekly). In 4/04, Oslo to Berlin (SXF) (6x-weekly). Stavanger to London (STN) (6x-weekly). Tromso to Longyearbyen (Svalbard). Oslo to Budapest (2x-weekly) - Pisa (weekly). Bergen to Murcia/Nice, Stavanger to Nice (weekly). Oslo to Kirkenes, Oslo to Prague (3x-weekly). Oslo to Dubrovnik, Olbia (weekly). Trondheim to Prague (2x-weekly). In 5/04, Oslo to Venice (2x-/weekly). In 6/04, Bergen to Dubrovnik (weekly). Trondheim to Dubrovnik (weekly).
737-3M8 (2017-25040, LN-KKP), (BBB) leased.
April 2004: To cooperate with Nordic Airlink (NOQ) on Oslo to Stockholm.
In 6/04, Oslo to Split (2x-weekly). Oslo to Olbia (Saturdays).
737-3YO (2021-24909, LN-KKO), ex-Malev (HGA), (GEF) leased.
May 2004: In October, Trondheim to Murcia (weekly).
June 2004: (SAS) Braathens (BRT) had its offices raided by the Norwegian Competition Authority, who is investigating whether price-cutting has been conducted to try and force Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) out of business.
September 2004: Trondheim to London Stansted (737-300, 4x-weekly). In January, Oslo to Salzburg, Turin (weekly).
October 2004: 737-3YO (CFM56-3B2) (24256, LN-KKR), Babcock (BBB) leased.
November 2004: Low-fare airline alliance formed with Sterling.dk (STR) (http://www.sterling.dk).
December 2004: In April, Bergen to Beauvais (3x-weekly).
April 2005: 737-33A (24094), ex-Air New Zealand (ANZ), Volito South Pacific leased.
June 2005: 374 employees.
August 2005: Trondheim - Salzburg (weekly, seasonal).
September 2005: Norwegian (NWG) carried 321,365 passengers in August, up +71% over the year-ago period. Traffic rose +103% to 304 million RPKs, while capacity climbed +48% to 348 million ASKs. As a result, load factor jumped +15 points to 75% LF. Yield, however, fell -15% owing to an increased share of international traffic with lower average yields. The Oslo-based Low-Cost Carrier (LCC) noted that 75% of bookings came via the Internet during August, up from 60% a year ago.
October 2005: Amadeus said Norwegian (NWG) will be the launch customer for its scaleable Pioneer Customer Management Solution intended to address the requirements of low-cost carriers. According to Amadeus, Pioneer, which uses Unix and Linux technology, is based on a community Information Technology (IT) platform; comprises reservations, inventory, revenue management and departure control solutions, and supports all sales channels.
Separately, Norwegian (NWG) said it flew 267 million RPKs (traffic) in September, up +89% over the year-ago period, on a +49% rise in capacity to 334 million ASKs. Load factor jumped 17 points to 80% LF from 63% LF last year. Share of bookings coming from the Internet was 80% in September compared to 63% in 2004. Norwegian (NWG) estimated September yield was NOK0.72 (11 cents).
(NWG) will inaugurate nonstop service from Oslo to Riga on November 10th. The airline will operate 3 flights a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Sundays with a 737. (NWG) will inaugurate nonstop service from Oslo to Gdansk on November 12th. The airline will operate 2 flights a week on Tuesdays & Saturdays with a 737. (NWG) will inaugurate nonstop service from Oslo to Madrid on March 29th. The airline will operate 4 flights a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, & Sundays, using a 737-300.
November 2005: Norwegian (NWG) will increase the frequency of flights from Oslo to Harstad/Narvik from 1 to 2 a day on March 1st. Flights are operated with 737-300s. (NWG) announced 3 new routes as follows:
Oslo to Rijeka = 1x a week (Saturdays) from Apr 1st;
Stavanger to Dubrovnik = 1x a week (Sundays) from May 7th;
Trondheim to Nice = 1x a week (Sundays) from May 7th.
Norwegian (NWG) will expand service to Eastern Europe from spring 2006. (NWG) will add daily flights between Oslo and Prague, Warsaw and Budapest. Oslo - Krakow will increase to five-times-weekly and Oslo - Gdansk to thrice-weekly.
December 2005: Norwegian (NWG) has announced a number of additional routes starting with the 2006 summer schedule. All routes are from Oslo as follows to:
Bourgas = 1x a week (Saturdays) from May 6th;
Heraklion = 1x a week (Saturdays) from May 6th;
Ibiza = 1x a week (Fridays) from June 16th;
Kos = 1x a week (Wednesdays) from June 14th;
Rhodos = 1x a week (Saturdays) from May 6th.
Varna = 1x a week (Saturdays) from May 6th.
All flights will be operated with 737-300s
Norwegian (NWG) will inaugurate nonstop service from Oslo to Dusseldorf on March 27th. The airline will operate a daily flight using a 737-300.
Norwegian (NWG) added an ex-easyJet (EZY) 737-300 to its fleet.
January 2006: Norwegian (NWG) will increase the frequency of flights on 4 routes as follows:
Bergen to Trondheim = from 1 to 2 flights a day effective March 13th;
Oslo to Bergen = from 9 to 12 flights a day on May 1st;
Oslo to Stavanger = from 9 to 11 flights a day on May 1st;
Oslo to Trondheim = from 6 to 8 flights a day on May 1st.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) will operate flights from Oslo to Varna and Bourgas in Bulgaria beginning in May.
Norwegian (NWG) said it carried 282,805 passengers in December, up +66% over the 170,260 carried in December 2004. Passenger traffic (RPK)s increased +72% and capacity (ASK)s rose +56%, pushing load factor up +7 points to 72% LF. It flew 3.3 million passengers, an increase of more than +76% compared to 2004.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) signed a purchase agreement with Bavaria International Aircraft Leasing (BAV) for a 737-300. It will be the carrier's first fully owned airplane.
737-3L9 (27337), bought from easyJet (EZY).
February 2006: Norwegian (NWG) reported a +101% increase in January passenger traffic to 226 million (RPK)s. Capacity climbed +76% to 313 million (ASK)s and load factor rose +8 points to 72% LF. The carrier expected a yield of NOK0.72 (10.7 cents), a decrease of -8% from the year-ago month.
Norwegian (NWG) reported a reversal of financial fortune as it posted an annual profit of +NOK26.8 million/+$4 million compared to a -NOK109.8 million loss in 2004. Fourth-quarter earnings of +NOK2.3 million reversed a -NOK31.2 million deficit in the year-ago quarter. It marked the carrier's first yearly profit since launching its low-cost operation in 2002.
Operating revenues in 2005 rose +63% to +NOK1.97 billion while expenses increased +44.1% to NOK1.79 billion, driving operating result from a -NOK32.7 million loss in 2004 to a +NOK181 million profit. Passenger traffic increased +76% to 2.7 billion (RPK)s and capacity climbed +51% to 3.46 billion (ASK)s as Norwegian (NWG) boosted its fleet from 11 to 13 airplanes. Load factor jumped +11 points to 78% LF. Yield dropped -9% owing to stage-length increases, but cost per (ASK) fell as well, to NOK0.55 from NOK0.59.
Fourth-quarter results included a +60.6% rise in revenue to +NOK531.4 million, a +42.9% jump in expenses to NOK492.7 million and an operating profit of +NOK38.6 million compared to a -NOK13.8 million loss in the year-ago quarter.
Norwegian (NWG) said it expects to lose money in the seasonally difficult winter quarter but that travel demand remains strong and unit cost is in "the same range" as the year-ago quarter. Plans are underway to increase the fleet to 18 airplanes.
Norwegian (NWG) will increase the frequency of flights from Oslo to Riga from 3 to 6 a week on May 1st. Currently, the airline operates flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Saturdays, the new schedule calls for daily service except Saturdays. All flights will be operated with 737-300s. Norwegian (NWG) will increase the frequency of flights from Oslo to Harstad-Narvik from 7 to 12 a week on May 1st. The airline will add a Monday - Friday service for a total of 2 flights on weekdays and 1 on weekends, all operated with 737-300s. Norwegian (NWG) will inaugurate nonstop service from Oslo to Munich on May 7th. The airline will operate 6 flights a week, daily except Saturdays, with a 737-300.
737-3K9 (24213, LN-KKW), ex-euroAtlantic (MAE), bought from Bavaria Leasing (BAV).
March 2006: Norwegian (NWG) will inaugurate nonstop service from Bergen to Berlin's Schoenefeld Airport on April 7th. The airline will operate 3 flights a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, using a 737-300. Norwegian (NWG) will inaugurate nonstop service from Bergen to Manchester on April 6th. The airline will operate 2 flights a week, on Thursdays, Sundays, using a 737-300. Norwegian (NWG) will inaugurate nonstop service from Bergen to Hamburg on May 2nd. The airline will operate 3 flights a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays, using a 737-300. Norwegian (NWG) will inaugurate nonstop service from Oslo to Vilnius on May 2th. The airline will operate 3 flights a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays, using a 737-300.
Norwegian (NWG) will inaugurate nonstop service from Oslo to Tallin on May 4th. The airline will operate 3 flights a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Sundays, using a 737-300. Norwegian (NWG) will inaugurate nonstop service from Oslo to St Petersburg on May 3rd. The airline will operate 3 flights a week, on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays, using a 737-300. Norwegian (NWG) will increase the frequency on its Bergen to Dubrovnik route from 1 to 3 flights a week on June 26th. The existing Saturday flight will be supplemented with flights on Mondays & Thursdays, all operated with a 737-300. Norwegian (NWG) will increase the frequency on its Bergen to Nice route from 1 to 2 flights a week on June 28th. The existing Saturday flight will be supplemented with a flight on Wednesdays, both operated with a 737-300.
Finnair (FIN) Group's airport ground handling service company, Northport Oy, is forming a subsidiary to provide services at Oslo Gardermoen from October 1. The new company's first contract will be with Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG).
April 2006: Norwegian (NWG) has decided to invade an already-crowded Polish low-cost market and intends to hire Polish flight crew for the operation. (NWG) announced that it will open a base in Warsaw and operate flights to three Spanish cities, France and its Oslo hub. It will base two airplanes at Warsaw, where it will compete with (LOT) Polish Airlines subsidiary Centralwings (CWG), SkyEurope Airlines (SKP) and Wizz Air (WZZ), among others.
(NWG) plans on starting operations from Warsaw with 2 737's and flying to:
Alicante = 3x a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays);
Gerona = 3x a week (Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays);
Malaga = 4x a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, & Sundays);
Nice = 4x a week (Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, & Sundays);
Oslo = 7x a week (Daily).
"(NWG) is already highly competitive in relation to cost levels and other budget players. Setting up shop in Poland will reduce our costs further," CEO Bjorn Kjos stated. (NWG) said it has had an "enormous" response to its search for Polish pilots (FC) and cabin staff (CA).
"The European labor market is developing rapidly," Kjos said. "More and more people are moving between different job markets, and the Polish market is of great interest in this respect."
(NWG) has purchased its 2nd 737-300 this month and is expecting delivery of the airplane to take the airline's fleet of 737-300s to 18 airplanes.
May 2006: Norwegian (NWG) operated 14 737-300s in the quarter compared to 12 in the same period last year. Utilization improved +41.2% to 9.6 block hours a day from 6.8 hours. Passenger numbers increased +86% to 1.01 million and load factor gained +9 points to 77% LF. The carrier, which leases virtually all of its airplanes, bought one 737 in the quarter and acquired a second 737-300 at the beginning of April. The fleet will grow further to 20 (19 operating) by year end.
"The market demand for traveling with Norwegian (NWG) has been good entering the second quarter of 2006, and advanced bookings are relatively better than in the same period last year," said Kjos, warning that if fuel price stays at today's level, the company will have "substantially" higher operating costs. Initiatives to cut costs are underway.
In July, (NWG) will open a base in Warsaw. It is the first non-Central and East European (LCC) to do so.
June 2006: Only one day after SAS Braathens (BRT) CEO, Petter Jansen resigned, the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime (Okokrim) said it filed charges against the airline for illegal computer access and misuse of business secrets. The charges are based on a complaint filed by Norwegian (NWG) last July, in which the Low Cost Carrier (LCC) argued that (SAS) had access to its electronic reservation system at a level of detail to which (SAS) was not entitled. Okokrim's investigation confirmed Norwegian (NWG)'s suspicion - - (SAS) had access throughout 2003 and 2004 and up until November 2005. "I am deeply disappointed by the lapse in business morale that appears to have been uncovered," Norwegian (NWG) CEO, Bjorn Kjos said, confirming the carrier will seek damages against SAS Braathens (BRT) for "considerable loss inflicted upon the company." Norwegian (NWG) claimed that (SAS), through misuse of its competitor's business secrets and illegal computer access, deprived it of passengers and revenues that Norwegian (NWG) would have obtained in a normal competitive situation. In addition, it was revealed that (SAS) has been able to set prices based on Norwegian's rather than its own costs. The (LCC) said it is impossible to indicate the size of the compensation claim, though it noted, "it is clear that it will involve a considerable sum." Damages will be determined during the civil action being brought by Norwegian (NWG), which will be filed after the criminal proceedings against (SAS) have been concluded in Asker and Baerum District Court. Norwegian (NWG)'s claim for compensation is not contingent on (SAS)'s being convicted in the criminal proceedings.
Norwegian (NWG), which will open its first non-Scandinavian base July 13 in Warsaw, announced it will expand its Polish operation with the addition of eight new routes. From Warsaw, (NWG) will operate a four-times-weekly service on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays to Rome Ciampino from August 10 and four-times-weekly flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays to Milan Malpensa, thrice-weekly flights on Tuesdays, Thursdays, & Saturdays to Athens and on Mondays, Wednesdays, & Fridays to Dublin, and a daily flight to Stockholm Arlanda, all from September 14. There also will be new four-times-weekly services to Stockholm from Wroclaw and Krakow and a twice-weekly on Mondays & Fridays to Oslo from Wroclaw, all from October 28. "We are very satisfied with the response in the Polish market so far . . . We believe that the new routes from Warsaw and other Polish cities will be very well received," CEO, Bjorn Kjos said in a statement.
July 2006: One-off costs related to air traffic control, "irregularities" at Oslo Gardermoen and ground and engine mishaps, took a chunk out of Norwegian's second-quarter profit, which came in at +NOK17.8 million/+$2.8 million after taxes, a figure that represented a +20.3% improvement over earnings of +NOK14.8 million in the year-ago period, but was "below our expectations" for the current term. The factors cost the airline NOK17 million, but it said it was able to maintain profitability thanks to record traffic. Operating revenue for the three months to June 30 climbed +44% to NOK764.6 million, while costs increased +45.9% to NOK730 million, lifting (EBITDA) 12.3% to NOK34.6 million.
Passenger numbers surged +49% year-over-year to 1.3 million and (RPK)s passenger traffic rose +43% as the company increased its fleet from 13 airplanes to 16. Capacity grew +41% to 1.32 billion (ASK)s and load factor climbed +1 point to 79% LF. Unit costs rose +3.8% to NOK0.55.
(NWG) said demand was "good" entering the third quarter, but that it will take some time for loads and yields on recently launched routes to mature. It will focus on its Polish expansion in the quarter and described advanced bookings there as "strong," although it admitted it "is entering into a new market that will present the company with new challenges" and that "the base in Warsaw is not expected to be profitable in the first year." It launched its Warsaw service yesterday with a flight to Malaga. It also announced it will add a four-times-weekly flight to Copenhagen to its previously announced schedule.
Operating costs are expected to rise as Norwegian (NWG) switches handling agents in Oslo, the fleet expands to 20 737-300s and unit costs for the summer period are +NOK 0.005 - 0.01 higher than forecast.
Adria Airways (ADR) appointed (CRS) Airlines Representatives as its first cargo (GSSA) in Spain, following the launch of twice-weekly Barcelona - Ljubljana service. (CRS) will fill the same role for Norwegian (NWG), which launched a thrice-weekly Madrid - Oslo service.
737-3L9 (27336, LN-KKT), ex-easyJet (EZY), ex-(G-IGOS).
September 2006: Norwegian (NWG) operates domestic and international low-cost flights.
(IATA) Code: DY - 328. (ICAO) Code: NAX - (Callsign - NOR SHUTTLE).
Parent organization/shareholders: HBK Holding (17.23%); Lufttransport Holding (16.52%); JP Morgan Chase Bank Omnibus Lending (5.22%); Ojada (4.9%); Ferd AS Invest (3.27%); Ankerlokken Holding (2.83%); Credit Suisse First (Europe) Prime Broker (2.55%); DNB NOR Norge (2.48%); Holdberg Norden (2.3%); & Holdberg Norge (1.98%).
Alliances: FlyNordic (NOQ) & Sterling (STR).
Main Base: Oslo Gardermoen Airport (OSL).
Domestic, Scheduled Destinations: Alta; Bergen; Bodo; Harstad-Narvik; Oslo; Stavanger; Tromso; & Trondheim.
International, Scheduled Destinations: Alicante; Berlin; Budapest; Copenhagen; Dubrovmnik; Faro; Gdansk; Geneva; Hamburg; Krakow; London Stansted (STN); Malaga; Murcia; Nice; Paris; Prague; Riga; Rome; Salzurg; Stockholm (Arlanda); Turin; & Warsaw.
Norwegian (NWG) will add a third weekly frequency to its Oslo - Geneva service in November and a fourth weekly rotation in December. Norwegian will launch thrice-weekly on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Sundays, Kristiansand - London Stansted service on November 2. Norwegian (NWG) will inaugurate nonstop service from Oslo to Zurich on January 6th. The airline will operate a weekly flight on Saturdays using 737-300s.
Norwegian will inaugurate nonstop service from Warsaw to Bergen on November 11th. The airline will operate 2 flights a week, on Tuesdays & Saturdays, using a 737-300. Norwegian (NWG) will increase the frequency on its Warsaw to Oslo route from 7 to 9 flights a week on November 9th. In addition to a daily flight, the airline will operate a 2nd flight on Thursdays & Sundays. All flights will be operated with 737-300s. Norwegian (NWG) will increase the frequency on its Krakow to Stockholm route from 4 to 5 flights a week on October 19th. In addition to the current flights on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, & Sundays, the airline will add a Thursday flight. All flights will be operated with 737-300s.
October 2006: Norwegian (NWG) will launch twice-weekly service from its newest base in Warsaw to Bergen November 11. In addition, it is increasing service between Warsaw and Oslo to nine weekly flights from eight and to five weekly flights from three between Krakow and Stockholm.
November 2006: Norwegian (NWG) will increase the frequency on its Oslo to Berlin Schoenefeld route from 7 to 13 flights a week on April 16th. The airline will operate 2 flights a day Sundays through Fridays and 1 on Saturday using a 737-300.
Norwegian (NWG) is taking SAS Braathens (BRT) back to court, this time in an attempt to secure financial damages, according to press reports. Braathens (BRT) was acquitted in a September criminal trial of illegally accessing Norwegian (NWG)'s reservations system, but paid a NOK400,000/$62,300 fine for misusing confidential business information. Norwegian (NWG) now wants a civil court to award further damages.
December 2006: Starting January 6th, Oslo - Zurich, 1/week, using 737-300s. Starting April 14th, Norwegian (NWG) will inaugurate nonstop service from Oslo to Bordeaux, operating 2 flights a week, on Thursdays & Sundays; nonstop service from Oslo to Pula, operating 1 flight a week, on Saturdays (from July 4th through August 8th, there will be an additional flight on Wednesdays); nonstop service from Oslo to Valencia, operating 2 flights a week, on Tuesdays & Saturdays; & Trondheim - Malaga, 1/week; all flights using 737-300s. Starting April 15, Edinburgh - Oslo Gardermoen, 3/week.
February 2007: Starting May 5th, Wweekily, Oslo Gardermoen - Antalya, using 737-300s and discontinued on October 27th. Starting May 12th, new 2/week, Oslo - Palma, using 737-300s. Starting June 2nd, twicw weekly, Oslo Gardermoen - Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen, using 737-300s and will be discontinued on September 2nd.
AWAS (AWS) announced the delivery of a second 737-300 to Norwegian (NWG) in the past six months. Both are powered by (CFM56-3)s. It now operates 22 737-300s.
March 2007: Starting April 17th, Warsaw - Birmingham. Starting May 3rd, Stavanger - Berlin. Starting May 4th, 4x weekly, Stockholm - Paris Orly. Starting May 5th, Stavanger - Paris, and - Prague.
April 2007: Norwegian (NWG) starts Oslo - Belgrade. (NWG) started thrice-weekly Oslo - Edinburgh flights on April 15.
(NWG) signed a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Finnair (FIN) for acquisition of the latter's Swedish subsidiary, FlyNordic (NOQ). The transaction will take place during the second quarter and is subject to regulatory clearance. FlyNordic (NOQ) will maintain its brand and continue to operate a low-fare service. "Norwegian (NWG) has since the start in 2002 become Scandinavia's largest low-fare airline. This acquisition will strengthen our position in the Nordic region as well as in the European market. Stockholm will as a consequence, be the new base for our operations from Sweden," Norwegian (NWG) CEO, Bjorn Kjos said. Norwegian (NWG) carried 5.1 million passengers last year and FlyNordic (NOQ) 1.2 million.
Finnair (FIN) President & CEO, Jukka Hienonen said FlyNordic (NOQ) "has been gaining a significant momentum as [Stockholm] Arlanda's second-largest airline" and from Finnair (FIN)'s perspective has reached its potential. "We now want to proceed to the next phase. Through this cooperation, we will further strengthen our position in the traffic between Scandinavia and Asia," he noted. The deal includes cooperation between Finnair (FIN) and Norwegian (NWG) that will involve linkage between Norwegian (NWG)'s Scandinavian network and Finnair (FIN)'s routes to Asia.
(NWG) will acquire 100% of FlyNordic (NOQ), and Finnair (FIN) will receive ordinary shares and stock options in Norwegian (NWG). Finnair (FIN)'s ownership in Norwegian (NWG) initially will exceed >5%, but if it exercises all stock options, its share will increase to approximately 10%. The options can be exercised through 2008 at an average strike price of NOK115/$19.26.
FlyNordic (NOQ) and Norwegian (NWG) have been cooperating on Stockholm - Oslo services since 2004.
May 2007: Starts Oslo - Antalya, Stavanger - Paris, - Prague, Oslo - Palma. Starting June 2nd, Oslo - Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen. On October 27th, stops Oslo - Antalya. Norwegian (NWG) will launch twice-weekly, Warsaw (WAW) - Munich, four-times-weekly, Warsaw - Stavanger, and twice-weekly, Szczecin - Oslo Gardermoen flights at the end of October. (WAW) - Copenhagen flights will become daily on August 31.
11 ORDERS 737-800s (CFM56-7B).
June 2007: Starting July 2nd, Bergen - Alicante, Trondheim - Alicante. Starting July 4th, Stavanger - Alicante. Norwegian (NWG) will commence a thrice-weekly Oslo Gardermoen - Moscow Domodedovo service on August 16. This route will go five-times-weekly from September 3. Starting October 28th, Oslo - London Gatwick (LGW). Norwegian (NWG) will launch seasonal weekly Salzburg - Warsaw service on December 29 aboard a 737-300.
IER said Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) chose the IER 918 CUSS kiosk for self-check-in at seven airports in Norway and Sweden. It has ordered 53 kiosks.
July 2006: Finnair (FIN) announced that it has entered into a "final and binding sale and purchase agreement" covering the sale of FlyNordic (NOQ) to Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG). The parties announced a Memo of Understanding (MOU) in April. The Norwegian Competition Authority still must approve the transaction, Finnair (FIN) said.
Bjorn Kjos, CEO of Oslo-based low-cost carrier Norwegian (NWG), is the first to admit that his work schedule is about to get much busier following the acquisition of Swedish budget carrier FlyNordic (NOQ) and a recent firm order for 42 737-800s. But Kjos is ready for the challenge, as he focuses on strengthening the networks of both Norwegian (NWG) and FlyNordic NOQ), as well as turning around the latter’s fortunes and making it profitable. Norwegian (NWG) recently signed a firm order with Boeing (TBC) for 42 737-800s plus 42 purchase rights, building on a previous lease agreement for 11 of the same model. Kjos says the new airplanes will be used to replace Norwegian (NWG)’s 22-strong fleet of 737-300s, as well as FlyNordic (NOQ)’s MD-80 fleet. The leased airplanes will be delivered between 2008 and 2010, while the purchased airplanes are scheduled for delivery between 2009 and 2014. “We will start with FlyNordic (NOQ) and will begin phasing out its MD-80s from next year,” says Kjos. He remains tight-lipped on plans for new routes, except to point out that the 737-800s will enable Norwegian (NWG) to operate longer distance city pairs. The carrier already serves Marrakech, and Kjos says it “may look at” additional destinations in North Africa.
“The next phase will be to expand our operations from Stockholm and Warsaw. We plan to strengthen our network in and out of Scandinavia and we already have a strong position in Norway, so we will concentrate on building our network in Sweden and from Warsaw,” he adds. FlyNordic (NOQ) is based at Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport and Warsaw is one of Norwegian’s seven bases. Earlier this year, the carrier announced that its seventh operational base would be Rygge, which is located 65km (40mi) south of the Norwegian capital. “Oslo Airport is full in rush hour, and we needed more capacity,” explains Kjos. The carrier will station two 737-800s at Rygge and will serve 14 cities from the airport, including Barcelona, London and Marrakech.
Kjos adds that Norwegian is “looking at opening a base” in Copenhagen, a move he hopes will occur “as soon as deliveries of the new airplanes start”.
Kjos says Norwegian (NWG) posted a +€10 million/+$13.6 million profit in the first half of this year, and he expects the second half of 2007 to be “considerably better”. The carrier saw its passenger numbers increase by +2% year-over-year in 2006 to 5.1 million. Kjos is also confident that FlyNordic (NOQ) will be profitable this year, despite the carrier’s past difficulties in attaining profits. Norwegian (NWG) acquired 100% of the Swedish budget operator from Finnair (FIN) earlier this year, in a deal which saw the Finnish (FIN) Oneworld (ONW) member take a 5% stake in Norwegian (NWG) and an option to take an additional 5% by the end of the year. Finnair (FIN) and Norwegian also agreed to link the Oslo-based carrier’s Scandinavian network with Finnair (FIN)’s long-haul Asian network.
FlyNordic (NOQ) will continue to operate under its own brand because it is well-known in Sweden, says Kjos, but the newly-acquired carrier will co-operate with Norwegian in a number of ways: “We will codeshare, of course, and we will have an integrated booking platform and fleet management programme to ensure that we get the most out of both companies.” Kjos concedes that the Scandinavian market is very competitive and that (SAS) remains Norwegian’s “biggest competitor”. He also says low-cost competition from airlines such as Ryanair (RYR) and Sterling (STR) is increasing, but points out that Norwegian (NWG) “does not meet Ryanair (RYR) directly” on any routes because of Norwegian (NWG)’s strategy of serving primary airports.
The recent collapse of Swedish budget carrier FlyMe (FME) “did not have much effect” on Norwegian (NWG)’s operations because FlyMe (FME) was a small operator and did not fly any competing routes, adds Kjos.
(NWG) operated 24 airplanes at the end of the quarter (two on wet-lease) compared to 16 at the conclusion of the year-ago period. It flew 1.4 billion (RPK)s passenger traffic, a year-over-year increase of +34%, against a +33% gain in (ASK)s capacity to 1.76 billion. Load factor remained steady at 79% LF and passenger numbers grew +24% to 1.6 million. Unit cost fell -3.6% to NOK0.53 despite a +25.6% jump in jet fuel cost.
"There is a relative reduction in costs due to better utilization of material and personnel, more advantageous agreements, more efficient sale and distribution channels, in addition to other cost reducing measurements," the carrier said.
During the current quarter, Norwegian (NWG) will expand to its entire network a seat selection option introduced on international services in April, through which passengers can pay a fee to select a seat at check-in or have one randomly assigned free of charge. It also expects to receive approval and finalize its acquisition of FlyNordic (NOQ) during the quarter.
August 2007: Norwegian (NWG) will open its seventh base at the new airport in Rygge (RYG) just south of Oslo. It initially will launch operations with a 737-800 on February 14, with a second airplane entering service March 13. It will serve Alicante, Athens, Barcelona, Belgrade, Bergen, Budapest, Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen, London Stansted, Malaga, Marrakech, Palanga, Szczecin, Valencia and Warsaw from the airport. "We expect further expansion, both in the form of new routes and more planes," CEO, Bjorn Kjos said, adding that (RYG) will be "state of the art . . . well suited to Norwegian key requirements of operational safety and efficiency" and will target local travelers as well as those from southwest Sweden.
Norwegian (NWG) ordered 42 new 189-seat 737-800s with blended winglets, worth $3.1 billion at list prices, it announced, adding that it secured purchase rights for an additional 42 of the type. The new airplanes will supplement the 11 737-800s Norwegian (NWG) ordered in May and will be delivered in the 2009 to 2014 period at a rate of about 10 per year. The airline said it secured USA Export-Import Bank financing of 85% of the purchase price, and has entered into hedging agreements to cover "a large part" of the dollar/kronor exposure related to the acquisition.
A (NWG) spokesperson said that the carrier is evaluating new routes and the possibility of adding more destinations. "This is no time for consolidation for us," the spokesperson said. "We will continue to expand the route network, which will depend on what kind of slots we can get."
(NWG) is ranked fourth among European Low Cost Carriers (LCC)s in both passenger numbers and network size. Its most important route is Oslo Gardermoen - Bergen, which is the eighth-busiest on the continent. It transported 5.1 million passengers last year, "and we see our numbers growing this year to 6 to 7 million passengers," the spokesperson said.
(NWG) currently flies 22 737-300s and eight MD-80s (with FlyNordic (NOQ), and will have 11 new 737-800s delivered in 2008 to 2010. It operates 122 routes to 75 destinations.
September 2007: Norwegian (NWG) will start four-times-weekly London Gatwick - Stavanger service from November 2. (NWG) will launch twice-weekly, Tromso - London Stansted service on December 8.
Norwegian (NWG) signed a five-year Total Component Support agreement with Lufthansa (DLH) Technik (LTK) covering the carrier's 737 fleet.
October 2007: Finnair (FIN) said the sale of its FlyNordic (NOQ) subsidiary to Norwegian (NWG) will result in a +€14.1 million/+$20.1 million net gain in its third-quarter operating profit, resulting from a +€18.6 million capital gain recognized for the summer transaction, an additional +€3 million in depreciation on six FlyNordic (NOQ) MD-80s owned by Finnair (FIN) Aircraft Finance and a €1.5 million amortization.
January 2008: 2007 statistics: 5.59 billion (RPK)s passenger traffic +32.2%; +29.5% capacity (ASK)s; +1.6 load factor for 80.3% LF. SEE ATTACHED COMPARISON CHART TO SELECTED OPERATORS - "NWG-2007-STATS."
Norwegian (NWG) plans to offer onboard wireless Internet and mobile phone services in the fourth quarter, according to a company statement cited by press reports. An independent subsidiary, "Call Norwegian," will be established to provide the services.
(NWG) took delivery of the first of 50 737-800s. The aircplane is on lease from Babcock & Brown (BBB). (NWG) will lease seven more, along with its order for 42 directly from Boeing (TBC).
737-8FZ (34954, LN-NOB), (BBAM) (BBB) leased.
February 2008: Norwegian (NWG) reported a 2007 net profit of +NOK84.6 million/+$15.4 million, reversed from a -NOK22 million loss the prior year, as expansion and the acquisition of FlyNordic (NOQ) boosted its bottom line. Full-year operating revenue climbed +43.7% to NOK4.23 billion against a +35.8% increase in operating expenses to NOK3.72 billion. Operating profit more than doubled to +NOK504.4 million from +NOK200.9 million in 2006.
Norwegian (NWG) flew 5.59 billion (RPK)s passenger traffic in 2007, up +32%, while capacity grew +30% to 6.96 billion (ASK)s. Load factor rose +2 points to 80% LF, and passenger numbers increased +25% to 6.4 million. The carrier operated 25 airplanes at year end, three more than at the close of 2006. FlyNordic (NOQ) brings an additional eight planes into the group. Norwegian (NWG) called advance bookings "satisfactory" for the current quarter, and said it expects to grow capacity +50% in 2008.
Norwegian (NWG) will add a third 737 at its Warsaw base in June to support the launch of five new routes and an increase in frequencies on five existing routes. It will operate 22 routes out of Poland this summer, including the following new services: Warsaw to Oslo Rygge (thrice-weekly), Trondheim (twice-weekly) and Split (weekly); twice-weekly Wroclaw - Oslo; twice-weekly, Krakow - Stavanger.
March 2008: Norwegian (NWG) is taking its low-cost model long-haul and will launch twice-weekly flights from Oslo Gardermoen and thrice-weekly flights from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) to Dubai (DXB) on October 26 aboard new 737-800s. "We see no reason not to launch long-haul routes based on our low-cost model," (CEO), Bjorn Kjos said. "Our new fleet of 737-800s enables us to look even further, when analyzing future markets, and we aim to make good use of the opportunities the extra range gives us." Kjos confirmed that Norwegian (NWG) will extend its no-frills model to the (DXB) service, which will feature buy-on-board catering, but free InFlight Entertainment (IFE). The airplanes will be in a one-class configuration with 189Y seats at 30/31-inches pitch, which is standard for all its 737-800s. Its 737-300s have 29/30-inches pitch. "We have a good feeling about this. There is a strong demand for the route. We will be the only carrier offering direct flights from Oslo and from Stockholm to Dubai," he said. Plus "fares will be cheap," he said. Prices start from €129/$195 one way, all taxes and charges included. The (ARN) - (DXB) route will be operated by FlyNordic (NOQ), which Norwegian (NWG) acquired last year from Finnair (FIN), but under the Norwegian (NWG) brand. Kjos said he expects load factors "above >80%" for the first season, and revealed that (NWG) is working on some "other exciting projects" that will be announced soon.
Norwegian (NWG) will abandon the FlyNordic (NOQ) brand from April 5 and fully integrate the Stockholm-based carrier. "Since both companies are working toward the same target groups and the same markets, a single consistent profile will strengthen the brand "Norwegian" (NWG) and make the company more visible among our customers," the Low Cost Carrier (LCC) said. "The company will offer a common service concept and booking system. A single brand is furthermore significantly more cost effective than two." Norwegian (NWG) bought FlyNordic (NOQ) from Finnair (FIN) last year.
Gate Gourmet signed a long-term contract with Norwegian (NWG) to provide onboard catering and provisioning across the Low Cost Carrier (LCC)'s system.
(NWG) started operations in September 2002 with four domestic routes and six 737-300s. Today, it has 25 737-300s, two 737-800Ws and eight MD-80s (from FlyNordic (NOQ)) and will have 50 new 737-800s delivered from 2008 to 2014. Its network covers 147 routes to 78 destinations.
April 2008: Norwegian (NWG) plans to launch services to Dubai in October from its Oslo and Stockholm hubs. The new routes, served two two and three times per week, represent (NWG)'s first services outside Europe and the Mediterranean.
Aviation Partners Boeing (APB) will provide Norwegian (NWG) with 42 blended winglet systems for its new fleet of 737-800s. Delivery is scheduled from June 2009 to May 2014. Norwegian (NWG) also intends to lease additional 737-800s equipped with blended winglets.
May 2008: (SAS) Norge (BRT) will pay NOK132 million/$26.3 million in damages to Norwegian (NWG) following a district court ruling in the nearly three-year-old proceeding into (SAS)'s alleged misuse of information contained in Norwegian (NWG)'s Amadeus reservation system. (SAS) was acquitted in a 2005 criminal trial, but was found to have misused confidential information. SAS Norge (BRT) President, Ola Strand said an appeal was "highly probable." (SAS) said it "apologized for the inconvenience caused to Norwegian (NWG) in relation to the matter, but rejected the claim made in court that this resulted in financial losses."
July 2008: Norwegian (NWG) ended the quarter with 41 airplanes in operation compared to 24 one year earlier. It took delivery of six 737-800s, continued to integrate the former FlyNordic (NOQ) (now Norwegian.se) and settled into its new base at Oslo Rygge.
It unveiled a cooperation agreement with Copenhagen (CPH)-based, Sterling Airlines (SRT) that will feature reciprocal codesharing on (CPH) - Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) and (CPH) - Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) flights beginning September 15. From the end of October, the agreement will extend to six additional European destinations from (OSL) (operated mostly by Norwegian (NWG)) and four from (ARN), (mostly by Sterling (STR)).
(NWG) CEO, Bjorn Kjos said the agreement "enables both carriers to utilize the fleet and resources in a much more efficient way and further strengthen our position in the European market."
Looking ahead, (NWG) said third-quarter demand is "satisfactory," and it is "intensifying cost reductions as well as taking measures to increase revenues." A fuel surcharge introduced in May has covered 20% to 25% of the increase in fuel costs, a ratio that should grow. It expects full-year unit cost of NOK0.55.
Natixis Transport Finance will provide pre-delivery payment loan financing to Norwegian (NWG) for 10 737-800HGW airplanes scheduled for delivery between summer 2009 and spring 2011, the carrier announced. Norwegian (NWG) placed an order for 42, plus 42 options, last year.
September 2008: Norwegian (NWG), despite its country’s oil wealth, hasn’t found a way to consistently make money, and is carefully watching events at (SAS) (which seems resigned to sell its airline operation).
737-31S (29264, LN-KHB), delivery, exAegean Airlines (CRM), ex-(SX-BGW).
October 2008: Sterling Airlines (STR), owned by Iceland's Northern Travel Holding, cancelled all flights and filed for bankruptcy, blaming decreasing demand, rapidly rising fuel prices, and the Iceland financial crisis for its collapse. (STR), which operated 24 737NGs and three 737 Classics, all leased, said shareholders were committed financially into 2009, and had injected DKK444.5 million/$74.8 million over the summer to fund restructuring. But "over a 3 to 4 week period, the whole [Icelandic] financial system melted down, and that resulted in our shareholder being unable to continue his support." It said it had discussions with additional investors, "but it was impossible to make ends meet." Northern acquired Sterling (STR) from FL Group in December 2006. Sterling (STR), which merged with Maersk (MSK) in 2005, posted a loss of approximately -DKK33.6 million in 2007. It carried 4.3 million passengers last year to 40 destinations from eight bases.
Following the announcement, Norwegian (NWG) said it will base two airplanes at Copenhagen (CPH) from November 6 and operate flights to Aalborg (thrice-daily), Alicante (twice-weekly), Malaga (twice-weekly), and Nice (thrice-weekly). It started four-times-daily service to Stockholm Arlanda and said tickets for flights from (CPH) to London, Amsterdam, Rome Fiumicino, Krakow, Prague, Barcelona, and Pisa will go on sale "shortly." The base will expand to 8 to 10 737-800s by May.
"Our very strong third-quarter results prove that our business model is sustainable, even in rough times for the industry, and with over DKK1 billion in equity, we are well funded for the expansion into Denmark," (NWG) CEO, Bjorn Kjos said.
Rockwell Collins (RC) will provide (NWG) with avionics for 42 737NGs with an option for 42 additional airplanes. Technology includes (RC)'s WXR-2100 MultiScan Hazard Detection System. Deliveries are slated to begin next year.
November 2008: Panasonic Avionics reached a deal with Norwegian (NWG) to supply its Digital (MPES) inflight entertainment system on 45 737-800s (NWG) has on order. (mpes) is an overhead (as opposed to a seatback) entertainment system for its single aisle airplanes.
December 2008: Norwegian (NWG) announced an expansion at its recently opened Copenhagen (CPH) base, comprising six additional 737-800s that will operate 12 new routes beginning in April. On April 2, it will launch flights from (CPH) to Amsterdam, Budapest, Krakow, Paris Orly, and Palma. The following day service will begin to Edinburgh and Prague, with Faro and Pisa flights beginning April 4. Service to Heraklion and Split will launch May 2, bringing to 17, the number of routes Norwegian operates from (CPH). It said it plans to fly to Barcelona, Rome, and London as well. It also will launch Aalborg - Malaga service on April 4. (NWG) will launch 12-times-weekly London Gatwick - Copenhagen service March 29 aboard a 737-800.
January 2009: Norwegian (NWG) said December yield fell -29% year-over-year to NOK0.64/$0.09. It flew 515 million (RPK)s traffic, up +20%, against a +25% increase in capacity (ASK)s to 697 million. Load factor fell -3 points to 74% LF.
(NWG)/Norwegian.SE (NOQ) has opened a base at Copenhagen's Kastrup International Airport (CPH) to fill the void left by the collapse of Sterling Airline (STR), and located 2 MD-80s there from November, initially offering flights on five new routes: to Aalborg; Alicante; Malaga; Nice; & Stockholm. There is already service to (CPH) from its Oslo base and plans to add further connections to Amsterdam, Barcelona, London, plus Krakow, Pisa, Prague, and Rome. The intention is to base 10 737-800s at (CPH) by May 2009. SEE ATTACHED - - "NWG-NOQ-MD-83-2009-01."
February 2009: Norwegian (NWG) estimated a +16% year-over-year increase in January yield to NOK0.64/US9.4 cents. Norwegian.no (NWG) flew 520 million RPKs, up +20%, against a +26% increase in capacity to 734 million (ASK)s. Load factor fell -3 points to 71% LF.
A nearly +50% year-over-year increase in revenue was not enough to save (NWG) from the damaging fluctuation in fuel prices last year as (NWG) slid to a -NOK7.6 million/-$1.1 million full-year loss from a +NOK84.6 million profit in 2007.
Operating revenue soared +47.3% to NOK6.23 billion, driven in part by a +69.1% surge in ancillary revenue per passenger. But costs were up +61.9% to NOK6.03 billion as fuel expense more than doubled. Personnel costs jumped +73.5% and airport charges were up nearly +40% year-over-year. Full-year (EBIT) swung to a -NOK337.9 million loss from an +NOK84.6 million profit in 2007. It lost -NOK104 million on its fuel hedges.
(NWG) transported 7.5 million passengers in its (NWG) operation last year, up +18%, and 1.6 million in its Swedish (NOQ) operation, up +183%. (NWG) traffic rose 31% to 7.3 billion (RPK)s against a +33% lift in capacity to 9.27 billion (ASK)s, lowering load factor -1 point to 79% LF. Swedish traffic climbed +276% to 1.78 billion (RPK)s, capacity was ahead +275% to 2.26 billion (ASK)s and load factor was stable at 79% LF.
Group yield remained at NOK0.65 while unit revenue dipped -1.9% to NOK0.51. Unit cost grew +7.5% to NOK0.57 but fell -5% to NOK0.38 excluding fuel. The group operated 37 airplanes at year end compared to 31 at the close of 2007. It will phase out its remaining four MD-80s this year and replace them with 737-800s.
Fourth-quarter loss was -NOK149.1 million, widened from a -NOK21.5 million deficit in the year-ago quarter. Operating loss was -NOK198.9 million compared to -NOK57.7 million in the final three months of 2007.
(NWG) said the level of advanced bookings in the current quarter is "satisfactory" and that its sales and marketing campaigns "have been well received by the market." (NWG) has hedged 7.3% of its fuel requirements for 2009 and anticipates a full-year unit cost of approximately NOK0.53.
(NWG) CEO, Bjorn Kjos took home the Air Transport World (ATW) "Market Leadership Award for 2008." "It's hard to run an airline these days. It was even harder to start it six years ago," he recalled. And he told attendees, "You have to make travel as hassle-free as possible."
(NWG) appointed Anne-Sissel Skanvik as Senior VP Corporate Communications.
April 2009: 737-8Q8 (37159, LN-NOL), (ILF) leased, (BOEING'S 6,000TH 737 DELIVERY - - SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "NWG-737-8Q8 6000-2009-04."
May 2009: Norwegian (NWG) opened its Copenhagen (CPH) base last fall following the collapse of Sterling Airlines (STR) and will look to increase its presence there as well. It has five airplanes at (CPH) at present. "It is a difficult marketplace but there is no reason for us not to expand," Foss said. (NWG) won (ATW)'s "2009 Market Leadership" Award.
(NWG) will equip its entire fleet with in-flight broadband Internet using the services of "Row 44," the same company used by Southwest Airlines (SWA) and Alaska Airlines (ASA). Installation begins in the fourth quarter.
(NWG) will add a number of new destinations including Istanbul and Santorini this summer.
June 2009: Norwegian (NWG) will launch new routes from Copenhagen to Vienna (thrice-weekly), Dublin (thrice-weekly), Rome Fiumicino (thrice-weekly), and Warsaw (six-times-weekly) and new thrice-weekly services from Oslo Gardermeon to Dublin and Vienna on August 17.
737-86N (35467, LN-NOG), (GEF) leased, ex-(N1786B).
July 2009: Travelport Global Distribution System (GDS) reached a direct-connect content agreement with Norwegian (NWG).
August 2009: Norwegian (NWG) reached a deal with USA lender Private Export Funding Corporation, supported by the USA Export-Import Bank, for term loan financing for the first seven of its ordered 737-800s scheduled for delivery between this summer and winter 2010. The Ex-Im also issued a preliminary commitment to support up to 20 additional deliveries in 2011 to 2012. (NWG) ordered 42 737-800s plus 42 purchase rights two years ago.
737-8JP (39162, LN-DYA), delivery.
September 2009: Norwegian (NWG) will launch winter-season flights from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) to Barcelona (BCN) and Tenerife (in October) and Salzburg (SZG) (December), and from Copenhagen (CPH) to Geneva, (SZG) and BCN, as well as Trondheim - Las Palmas service. It also will add third weekly flights to Dubai from (CPH) and (ARN), and a weekly service from (CPH).
737-86N (36814, LN-NOH), (GEF) leased.
October 2009: Continuing its expansionist path, Norwegian (NWG) announced its commitment to an additional 12 737-800s, lifting its firm order for purchased and leased airplanes to 70 for delivery by 2014, as it reported the highest quarterly operating profit in its history.
Third-quarter net profit decreased -10% to +NOK374.8 million/+$67.2 million from +NOK414.4 million in the year-ago period, but (EBIT) more than doubled to NOK475.6 million from NOK193.4 million. Revenue rose +15% to NOK2.27 billion, while operating expenses excluding leasing and depreciation fell -3% to NOK1.6 billion, despite a +11% hike in (ASK)s to 3.98 billion. A -30% fall in fuel costs was key. Unit cost was down -10.2% to NOK0.44 but rose +6.7% to NOK0.32 excluding fuel. Yield slipped just -1.6% to NOK0.61 and ancillary revenue per passenger soared +41% to NOK79.
(NWG) carried more than >3 million passengers in the third quarter, up +19% on last year. Load factor remained stable at 82% LF. Traffic increased +11% to 3.27 billion (RPK)s. At the end of the quarter, the fleet comprised 46 airplanes.
"We are presenting strong results as a growing operator in an industry in crisis. This makes us proud, but at the same time very humble," CEO, Bjorn Kjos commented. "We have already proved that we can offer enhanced products at lower costs. We will get even better at that."
(NWG) exercised purchase rights for six 737-800s. Two will be delivered during fall 2010 and four in spring 2011. They will replace leased 737-300s. In addition to the purchase contract, it entered into leasing contracts for an additional six 737-800s. In total, it has contracts for 70 737-800s, 48 owned and 22 leased. Sixteen of the 70 have been delivered, with one more coming before year end.
(NWG) said demand and advanced bookings have been "satisfactory" entering the fourth quarter. It anticipates year-on-year (ASK) growth of approximately +17% for 2009 and up to +30% for 2010 as it replaces 737-300s with 737-800s. It will take delivery of 14 737-800s next year.
(NWG) will launch a Stockholm - Salzburg route in December. (NWG) will launch service from Copenhagen to Malta, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, and Sardinia at the beginning of May, as well as Oslo Gardermoen - Malta, Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) - Athens, and (ARN) - Palermo, which will start at the end of March or beginning of April. Bergen - Tromso service is set to begin in March.
(SITA) signed a five-year contract with Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) to provide Aircraft Communication Addressing & Reporting System (ACARS) services for the carrier's fleet of 58 737-800s, the last of which is due for delivery in 2014.
(SITA)’s (AIRCOM) service will allow (NWG) to meet the European Union (EU)’s "Single European Sky" requirements for all new airplanes supplied after 2011 to be equipped with Controller Pilot Data Link Communications (CPDLC).
(NWG) will use (AIRCOM) (VHF) Datalink and the (AIRCOM) Service Bureau messaging platform to provide a link between the cockpit and (NWG)’s Flight Operations and Technical centers. This will allow (NWG) to record accurate airplane movements, and react quickly in the event of diversions or unscheduled maintenance requirements. The airplanes will now also be able to receive up-to-date weather and Digital Automatic Terminal Information Services (d-ATIS) allowing the pilots (FC) to anticipate and plan for changing conditions.
(AIRCOM) will also provide automatic and accurate reporting of timings from landing through to take-off and this management information will be used by (NWG) to ensure their ground handling agents are adhering to agreed performance levels.
(NWG) will equip its new 737-800s with 186Y seats rather than the available 189Y, (NWG) revealed. (NWG) is the European launch customer of the Boeing (TBC) "Sky Interior," which will be standard on its 737-800s delivered after 2010. It has 48 737NGs on order from (TBC) as well as 22 airplanes from leasing companies.
737-8JP (39163, LN-DYB), delivery.
November 2009: Norwegian (NWG) will issue up to 1.62 million new shares, corresponding to some 5% of the outstanding total, in a capital raising expected to generate NOK250 to NOK260 million/$43.9 to $45.7 million based on closing price. "We see new opportunities ahead. This, combined with Norwegian (NWG)'s positive development, makes the timing good for strengthening (NWG)'s financial position and flexibility even further," CEO, Bjorn Kjos said. HBK Invest AS, a company controlled by Kjos and (NWG) Chairman, Bjorn Kise, will reduce its holding in (NWG) from approximately 32% to around 29%. "NWG) has reached a size where I find it natural to open up for new investors, both Norwegian and international ones. The goal is to build a strong and committed investor base for further expansion. In addition, more available shares will make the share more attractive," Kjos said.
(NWG) revealed its new loyalty program, "Norwegian Reward," under which members will receive cash points worth NOK1 each at a 10% rate on full flex tickets and 2% on low-fare tickets for use as full or partial payment on future fares or services. Points can be used at any time, although (NWG) said that law prohibits individual passengers from earning points on domestic flights. The program is independent from credit card promotions and other schemes.
December 2009: Norwegian (NWG) will expand its Bergen operation in March and will launch six-times-weekly flights to Copenhagen and Stockholm Arlanda, twice-weekly service to Barcelona and Rome Fiumicino, and weekly to Antalya and Chania.
In 2008, (NWG)'s busiest airports after Oslo were Bergen, Stavanger, Trondheim, and Tromso.
737-86N (36820, LN-NOI), (GEF) leased.
January 2010: Navtech signed with Norwegian (NWG) to provide aircraft performance software products supporting the Electronic Flight Bag EFB Class 1 and 2 environment on (NWG)'s 737s. The suite includes Aircraft Performance, Mass & Balance, eCharts, Seamless ENC, and FMS Navigation Data products.
737-8FZ (29674, LN-NOU), (BBB) leased.
February 2010: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) said it realized "the best annual result" in its history with a 2009 net profit of +NOK446 million/+$75.5 million compared to earnings of +NOK3.9 million in 2008. "I am very pleased with reporting positive results in a time where the industry is facing challenging market conditions," CEO, Bjorn Kjos said. "I am especially pleased with our cost reductions and improved competitiveness."
Full-year revenue for(NWG) rose +17% to NOK7.3 billion, with turnover on domestic routes growing by a staggering +26% to NOK2.9 billion and international revenue increasing +12% to NOK4.4 billion. (EBIT) reversed from a loss of -NOK338 million in 2008 to a +NOK572 million profit last year.
(NWG), which was awarded Air Transport World (ATW)'s "Airline Market Leadership" Award in 2009, reduced unit cost by -13% to NOK0.49. (CASK) excluding fuel stood at NOK0.36, down slightly from NOK0.37 a year ago. (NWG) said it expects a further -20% reduction in (CASK) owing to introduction of new 737-800s. (NWG) will take delivery of 13 this year.
Annual passenger count jumped +18% to 10.9 million as it launched 63 new routes last year comprising 30 from Denmark, 18 from Sweden and 15 from Norway. Load factor was 78% LF, down -1 point, on a +18% hike in capacity (ASK)s to 13.5 billion. It plans to grow (ASK)s +30% this year, mainly by replacing 737-300s with 737-800s. At year end it should operate 53 airplanes compared to 46 at the end of 2009.
Fourth-quarter net profit was +NOK800,000, reversed from a -NOK138 million deficit in the year-ago period. Group revenue rose +8% to NOK1.75 billion and operating profit of +NOK7.6 million compared to a -NOK199 million loss in the 2008 fourth quarter.
Separately, (NWG) announced the launch of service from Oslo and Stockholm to Helsinki Vantaa as part of a strategy "to become a strong player in the Nordic market." Flights from Oslo Gardermoen and Stockholm Arlanda start April 29.
(NWG) will add an eighth 737 to it Stockholm Arlanda base and launch service to London Gatwick (six-times-weekly from April 29), Edinburgh (thrice-weekly from May 6), and Munich (thrice-weekly from May 7).
March 2010: The Norwegian Court of Appeal upheld and increased a 2008 judgment against the (SAS) Group, which now must pay damages of NOK160 million/$27.3 million to Norwegian (NWG), plus nearly NOK15 million in court costs, to settle an industrial espionage case regarding (SAS)'s improper use of data in (NWG)'s reservation system. The original ruling was for NOK132 million in damages plus court costs. Norwegian (NWG) said it lost "several hundred million" kroner as a result of the breach. (SAS) said the decision will affect its results and liquidity by some SEK200 million/$28.2 million and that it "will now examine the ruling further to evaluate whether it should be appealed" to the Supreme Court of Norway.
737-8FZ (31713, LN-NOV), Babcock (BBB) leased, 737-8JP (37816, LN-NOT), CIT (TCI) leased, 737-8JP (39164, LN-DYC), and 737-86N (37844, LN-NOJ), (GEF) leased.
April 2010: 737-8JP (39002, LN-DYD), delivery.
June 2010: Norwegian (NWG) operated 1.24 billion (RPK)s traffic in May, up +37% on the year-ago month. Capacity rose +38% to 1.62 billion (ASK)s and load factor stayed flat at 77% LF.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) will continue its expansion in the Swedish market and base a ninth airplane at Stockholm’s Arlanda (ARL) airport in September to support increased frequencies on its routes to London Gatwick (LGW), Helsinki (HEL), and Copenhagen (CPH). (ARN) - (CPH) will move from a five times daily to a six times daily on September 2, (ARN) - (HEL) will increase from two to four daily flights Monday to Friday and from two to three on Sundays and its current six times weekly to (LGW) will double to a double daily on weekdays and Sunday.
July 2010: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) flew 1.27 billion (RPK)s traffic in June, up +30% from the year-ago month, against a +32% rise in (ASK)s to 1.64 billion. Load factor fell -2 points to 77% LF.
(NWG) exercised purchase rights for 15 737-800s valued at $1.15 billion from its 2007 order for 42 737NGs. Boeing (TBC) said the commitment boosts Norwegian (NWG)'s unfilled 737 orders to 59. The airplanes will be delivered between 2014 and 2016.
August 2010: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) flew 1.65 billion (RPK)s in July, up +30% from the year-ago month. Capacity increased +34% to 1.95 billion (ASK)s as load factor fell -3 points to 85% LF.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) on November 6 will launch weekly service to Agadir from Copenhagen, Oslo Gardermoen and Stockholm, and will increase weekly Oslo - Marrakech service to twice-weekly. It will also launch twice-weekly service to Marrakech from Stockholm and Copenhagen. All services will be aboard 737-800s.
737-8JP (37817, LN-NOW with Norwegian painter "Oda Krohg" on tail), delivery.
September 2010: Norwegian (NWG) announced that it is considering starting long haul services from Oslo Gardermoen to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi and New York (JFK) at a first stage of its planned expansion into the long haul market for which it plans to order up to 15 wide body airplanes. It has exercised options for additional 15 737-800 orders at the Farnborough air show and has also announced plans to lease three additional 737-800s. (NWG) is launching new short haul routes in the meantime:
Aalesund - London Gatwick: 2x weekly, 737-300 service starting on April 16, 2011;
Copenhagen Kastrup - Agadir: weekly, 737-300 service starting on November 6;
Copenhagen Kastrup - Marrakech: 2x weekly, 737-300 service starting on November 3;
Oslo Gardermoen - Agadir: weekly, 737-800 service starting on November 6;
Oslo Gardermoen - Helsinki: 2x daily, 737-300/-800 service started on April 29;
Oslo Gardermoen - Palanga: 2x weekly, 737-300 service (route transferred from Rygge);
Oslo Torp - Alicante: weekly, 737-800 service starting on November 6;
Rygge - Dalaman: weekly seasonal, 737-300 service started on May 19;
Rygge - Las Palmas: weekly, 737-800 service starting on October 31;
Rygge - Tenerife Sur: weekly, 737-800 service starting on November 4;
Stavanger - Trondheim: 6x weekly, 737-300/-800 service (already launched);
Stockholm Arlanda - Agadir: weekly, 737-800 service starting on November 6;
Stockholm Arlanda - Edinburgh: 3x weekly, 737-300 service started on May 6;
Stockholm Arlanda - Helsinki: 2x daily, 737-300/-800 service started on April 29;
Stockholm Arlanda - London Gatwick: 6x weekly, 737-300 service started on April 29;
Stockholm Arlanda - Marrakech: 2x weekly, 737-800 service starting on November 2;
Stockholm Arlanda - Munich: 3x weekly, 737-300 service started on May 7;
Trondheim - Antalya: weekly, 737-800 service (already launched);
Trondheim - London Gatwick: 3x weekly, 737-300/-800 service (transferred from Stansted in March).
(NWG) has already given up its routes from Copenhagen Kastrup to Billund and Ronne, and from Rygge to Berlin Schönefeld, Budapest, Prague, and Valencia, and has not resumed its Oslo Gardermoen - Istanbul Sabiha Gökcen route. (NWG) will close its base in Warsaw by the end of the month giving up routes from there to Alicante, Athens, Bourgas, Dubrovnik, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Split, and Varna. It will continue to serve Warsaw from Bergen, Oslo Gardermoen, and Stavanger. (NWG) will give up its routes from Stavanger to Paris Orly on August 27 and to Murcia on October 30. It has also given up plans of a Copenhagen Kastrup - Ronne route. (NWG) has currently wet-leased the single 737-4Q8 ((26302, SE-RJA) of Tor Air (TOR).
3 737-8JPs (37818, LN-NOX "Christian Krogh Norwegian painter;" 39003, LN-DYE; 40865, LN-DYH "Soren Kierkegaard Danish Philosopher"), deliveries.
October 2010: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) flew 1.22 billion (RPK)s traffic in September, up +32% from the year-ago month. Capacity increased +33% to 1.59 billion (ASK)s, while load factor stayed flat at 77% LF.
(NWG) will open a base at Helsinki Vantaa (HEL) with three airplanes, and launch two domestic and 11 new international routes to Copenhagen, Malaga, Nice, Chania, Rome, Barcelona, London Gatwick, Split, and Alicante next summer.
Domestic routes will begin March 31, 2011, whereas international routes will start in early-to mid-May. The four-times-daily, (HEL) – Ouluand flights and daily, (HEL) – Rovaniemi flights are (NWG)’s first domestic services in Finland. (NWG) currently has domestic operations in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.
“Norwegian (NWG)entered the Finnish market in April and, after a mere five months, our Helsinki – Oslo and Helsinki – Stockholm routes have proven to be a great success. We believe that both the Finnish business and leisure traveler are ready for more fares that everyone can afford to both domestic and international destinations” CEO, Bjorn Kjos said.
(SAS) said the Supreme Court of Norway ordered it to pay NOK160 million/$27.4 million to Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG), likely bringing to a conclusion the corporate espionage case in which (SAS) Norge (BRT) was found to have improperly accessed and used data in Norwegian (NWG)'s reservation system. Earlier this year, a Norwegian appeals court upheld a 2008 ruling against (SAS) in the matter, but (SAS) extended the case by appealing to the Supreme Court, which rejected the appeal.
Norwegian (NWG) has claimed that throughout 2003 and 2004 and most of 2005, (SAS) Norge (BRT) (then called (SAS) Braathens (BRT)) had access to its Amadeus electronic reservation system at a level of detail to which (SAS) was not entitled. (SAS) was acquitted in a criminal trial, but the civil case carried on with Norwegian claiming substantial financial damage. Including court costs, (SAS) said the case will negatively affect its third quarter earnings by -SEK200 million/-$29.7 million.
November 2010: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) flew 1.31 billion (RPK)s traffic in October, up +34% from the year ago month on a +34% increase in capacity to 1.66 billion (ASK)s. Load factor rose one point to 79% LF.
(NWG) has taken a major step away from its original Low Cost Carrier (LCC) business model with the signing of an initial Letter of Intent (LOI) with (ILFC) to lease two new 787-8s for 12 years with deliveries from the fall of 2012. (NWG) currently operates an all-737 fleet. “This is an important milestone for Norwegian as we have now decided to use the 787 Dreamliner for our long-haul operations,” CEO, Bjorn Kjos said. “The 787 is an airplane for the future as it offers a new, improved passenger experience and comfort in addition to reducing operating costs. Lower fuel consumption also makes the airplane the most environmentally friendly of its kind on the market.”
(NWG), Scandinavia’s second largest airline and Europe’s third largest (LCC), communicated its intent to launch long-haul operations in September.
Kjos indicated that Norwegian was also looking at types like the A330 or 767 that would be available on short-term leases to allow it to commence its first long-haul routes from Oslo Gardermoen and Stockholm Arlanda to New York (JFK) and Bangkok, respectively, planned for the second half of 2011.
(NWG) expects to launch up to 15 long-haul routes over the next few years. It currently operates 53 airplanes on 239 routes to 94 destinations. Its route portfolio stretches across Europe into North Africa and the Middle East.
December 2010: Norwegian (NWG) took delivery of its first 737-800 with the new Boeing "Sky Interior."
2 737-8JPs (39004, LN-DYF; 39165, LN-DYG), ex-(N1787B & N1786B) deliveries.
January 2011: Norwegian (NWG) grew its presence and influence
significantly in 2010, especially in Scandinavia. (NWG) no longer sees itself as a Norwegian company but a Scandinavian one. Its (RPK) traffic total last year was +30% greater than the year prior on +31% more (ASK) capacity. Its passenger count, meanwhile, surpassed 13 million, up +21%. Much of this growth came courtesy of 13 new 737-800s, planes that have more seats than the 737-300s they’re replacing. The 737-800s also have greater range, enabling longer flights that produce more (ASKs). But (NWG) also expanded its presence beyond its home country and into Sweden and Finland, putting additional pressure on troubled rival (SAS), while compelling equity partner Finnair (FIN) to consider a marketing partnership. Unit revenues did fall throughout the year as a result of such aggressive expansion, but recently, executives said this was more than offset by the lower unit costs achieved with its new planes and longer stage lengths (which were up +11% in December. This year, 15 more 737-800s arrive, with the 737-300s scheduled to all be gone by next year. Then in late 2012, (NWG) will (according to current delivery schedules anyway) begin receiving 787s to launch longhaul service to the USA and Thailand.
One thing (NWG) wasn’t happy about was its punctuality performance last month. It managed to get just 63% of its flights to arrive on time, compared to 81% the month before. Unusually bad weather throughout Europe had a lot to do with that, as did an air traffic control (ATC) strike in Spain. Also causing operational difficulties were (ATC) staffing problems in Stockholm.
February 2011: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) reported a net profit of +NOK189 million for 2010 /+$32.5 million, down -57.6% from the +NOK446.3 million it earned in 2009 despite a +21.2% increase in passengers to 13 million and a +17.6% rise in revenue to NOK8.6 billion. Operating expenses increased +24.4% to NOK7.4 billion on a +31% increase in capacity to 17.8 billion (ASK)s. (EBIT) narrowed 63.1% to NOK210.2 million from NOK571.9 million in 2009. Annual load factor was 76% LF, down two percentage points from 2009.
CEO, Bjorn Kjos said he was “very pleased with the strong growth in number of passengers and total capacity. The fact that we have reduced our [non-fuel] costs considerably compared to the previous year has further strengthened our competitiveness.” Still, Kjos acknowledged 2010 was a “challenging year” for the airline industry, and noted (NWG)’s results are “strongly influenced by soaring fuel prices, strikes and the authorities’ closing of European airspace in April.” The April volcanic ash cloud disruptions caused -NOK170 million in operating losses, but this was offset by +NOK180 million in compensation from (SAS).
Fuel costs jumped +48.7% year-over-year to NOK2 billion and by +63% in the fourth quarter. Unit cost ex-fuel decreased some -10% to NOK0.34 and (CASK) (including fuel) fell -5% to NOK0.46.
At the end of the reporting year, Norwegian (NWG)’s total fleet, including airplanes on maintenance but excluding wet lease, comprised 53 airplanes with an average age of 7.6 years, down four years from 2009. It received 13 new 737-800s in 2010 and an additional 15 will be added this year.
After returning older 737s, (NWG) plans to operate 57 narrow body airplanes by year end, 63 by the end of 2012, and 73 by the end of 2014. It aims to get its first of two 787-8s on lease from (ILFC) (ILF) in the fall of 2012, which will mark its entrance into the long-haul segment. Its scheduled network covers 244 routes on 97 destinations.
(NWG) will operate twice-weekly service to Oslo Gardermoen from Athens (April 28 - October 27), Pristina (June 27 - August12), Sarajevo (June 27 -August 11) and thrice-weekly service from Lakselv (June 27 - August 12).
(NWG) launched Row 44 on board high-speed broadband this month. “This is a product that no other airline in Europe is currently offering, which gives us a huge competitive advantage,” (NWG) Director of Information Technology (IT) & Business Development, Hans-Petter Aanby said.
(NWG) plans to have 11 737-800s equipped with on board Internet by this summer and 21 by the end of the year. By 2012, 40 of its airplanes will have in-flight Wi-Fi. (NWG) will equip all its new 737-800s with the technology, which will operate with two separate networks — one open for passengers and one for pilots (FC) and cabin crew (CA). (NWG) is currently phasing out its 737-300 airplanes and by the end of 2012, (NWG) will operate an all-737-800 fleet.
Row 44 in January received USA Federal Communications Commission approval to operate and charge for in-flight broadband connectivity service aboard commercial airplanes over the Atlantic Ocean. It signed an equipment purchase contract with its first USA customer, Southwest Airlines (SWA), last February.
March 2011: Norwegian (NWG) will launch Gothenburg 737-800 service to Malaga (thrice-weekly, June 20), Palma (twice-weekly, June 23), Pristina (weekly, June 21), Chania (weekly, June 21), Nice (thrice-weekly June 24), Barcelona (twice-weekly, August 22) and Rome (twice-weekly, August 25).
April 2011: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) said its free in-flight Wi-Fi is a “hit” with its passengers and that on some routes — such as Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) - Geneva — between 40% and 50% of all passengers logged on. Other popular Wi-Fi routes include (OSL) - London Gatwick (LGW), (OSL) - Dubai, (OSL) - Alicante (ALC), Stockholm Arlanda (ARL) - (LGW), and (ARL) - Las Palmas. (NWG) noted its wireless system set a record on the April 14 (OSL) - (ALC) flight when 87 passengers were logged on at 30,000 ft.
“We’re overwhelmed by the response among our passengers and are gradually installing Wi-Fi on all of our new airplanes,” said Norwegian (NWG) Director (IT) & Business Development, Hans-Petter Aanby. “This is a product that no other airline in Europe is currently offering, which gives us a huge competitive advantage. Our passengers will soon be able to see in the booking process whether the airplane has Wi-Fi.”
Norwegian (NWG) launched high-speed broadband service in February with technology provided by USA-based Row 44. Starting in May, (NWG) will offer in-flight Wi-Fi on all flights between (OSL) and (STO) and 11 737-800s will have Internet on board by summer. By the end of the year, 21 airplanes will be equipped. (NWG) plans to install Wi-Fi on its entire fleet by the end of 2012.
(NWG), which received the Air Transport World (ATW)’s "Market Leadership" award in 2009, noted the service will be free of charge “for the time being.” (NWG) currently operates 57 airplanes on 238 routes to about 100 destinations. Fifteen new 737-800s, all equipped with Wi-Fi, are slated to enter its fleet in 2011.
May 2011: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) said that high oil prices “strongly contributed” to a first-quarter net loss of -NOK293.2 million/-$55.3 million, widened from a -NOK199.1 million deficit in the year-ago period. Its fuel bill heightened +41% compared to the March 2010 quarter to NOK561.3 million, though the increase is in part owing to a +28% year-over-year rise in capacity.
“This has been a challenging quarter, primarily due to the high oil price and currency loss,” said CEO, Bjorn Kjos. “However, on the positive side, we see a good passenger and production growth as well as good pre-sale of tickets.” He pointed out that the group’s “significant investments” in new business routes in Sweden and in the launch of a Helsinki base resulted in extraordinary costs of NOK100 million.
Operating revenue rose +18.8% to NOK1.89 billion, reflecting a +18.6% increase in passenger ticket revenues to NOK1.59 billion, a +19.9% rise in ancillary revenues to NOK256.4 million, and a +29.7% increase in other revenues to NOK40.2 million. Operating expense increased 31.6% to NOK2.12 billion. Operating loss tumbled to NOK494.8 million from a NOK238.5 million negative (EBIT) in the year-ago period.
Passenger traffic climbed +27% to 4.49 billion (RPK)s on a +28% increase in (ASK)s to 3.34 billion, lowering load factor -1 point to 74% LF. Passenger numbers grew +14% to 3.06 million. Yield decreased -5.5% to NOK0.48 while ticket revenue per unit produced in the first quarter was NOK0.36, down -7.7% from NOK0.39 in the year-ago period. Unit cost was NOK0.52 compared to NOK0.51 in the first quarter last year, and (CASK) ex-fuel was NOK0.39 compared to NOK0.40.
At the end of the first quarter, Norwegian (NWG) had 57 airplanes in its fleet, comprising 37 737-800s and 20 737-300s. Seven new 737-800 airplanest have been put into operation and a further five deliveries are scheduled for the second quarter. The group averaged 10.4 block hours in the first quarter, which is equivalent to last year. The share of Internet sales was 85%, a decrease of 3% points due to increased sales through travel agents.
The group said that demand and advance bookings have been “satisfactory” entering into the second quarter, “absorbing solid production growth.” (NWG) guides for full-year growth in (ASK)s of +25% mainly from increasing the fleet by adding 737-800s.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) said it signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Icelandair (ICE) to acquire three Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 1000)-powered 787-808 Dreamliners that (ICE) currently has on order.
Two of the 787-808s are expected to be delivered during the first half of 2013 and the third in early 2015. (NWG) is also slated to receive two 787-8s on lease from (ILFC) (ILF) in late 2012/early 2013.
"Getting hold of an additional three Dreamliners implies that we have secured sufficient capacity for the launch of the long-haul operation," said CEO Bjorn Kjos. "We will operate a fleet of at least four of the most efficient and modern long-haul aircraft by summer 2013." The carrier is believed to be negotiating to acquire additional 787s. The 787s will probably be used on routes such as Oslo - Bangkok and Oslo - New York with leisure passengers booking through tour operators.
June 2011: On the second day of the Paris Air Show, the Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) ordered 15 737-800s worth $1.2 billion, at list prices.
July 2011: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG), which is not leaving any doubt about its long-haul ambitions, signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with International Lease Finance Corporation (ILF) for one more new 787-8 to increase its future fleet of the type to six. It also confirmed that “negotiations for further airplanes will continue.” The additional 787 is expected be delivered in early 2014; it is the third (ILF)-leased 787.
Last year, (NWG) entered into a lease agreement for the delivery of two 787s in the fall 2012/winter 2013. Last month at the Paris Air Show, (NWG) finalized its contract to purchase three 787s that were initially ordered by the Icelandair (ICE) Group. Two of the airplanes are expected to be delivered during the first half of 2013 and the third airplane in early 2015. “The airplane type, which is the most cost efficient in its class, will provide (NWG) with a strong competitive advantage and the passengers with low fares to distant destinations outside Europe," said CEO, Bjorn Kjos.
(NWG)’s additional 787 order came on the heels of it posting strong second quarter results. A June quarter net profit of +NOK53.7 million/+$9.64 million was reversed from a -NOK134.4 million deficit in the year-ago period. Revenue for the quarter rose +34.1% year-over-year to NOK2.73 billion and operating expenses, excluding leasing and depreciation, increased by +26% to NOK2.38 billion. (EBIT) came in at NOK72.8 million, compared to a -NOK92.8 million operating loss a year earlier.
Kjos said the second-quarter results were, “as expected, strongly affected by the high fuel price, which is almost +50% higher than the same period last year.” He added that he was “very pleased with the strong passenger growth.” He vowed to “keep a steady course toward lower costs and increased competitiveness.”
Passenger traffic climbed +29% to 4.32 billion (RPK)s on a +24% increase in (ASK)s to 5.52 billion, increasing load factor +3 points to 78% LF. Passenger numbers grew +26% to 4.04 million. Yield rose +5% to NOK0.55, while (RASK) was NOK0.43, up +9% from NOK0.39 in the year-ago period. Unit cost was flat at NOK0.52 and (CASK) ex-fuel was NOK0.32, -6% lower than NOK0.34 for the same period last year. The operator said (RASK) growth compared to last year partially reflects improved load factor, the closure of European airspace in April last year and an adjusted route portfolio.
For the 2011 first half, (NWG) reported a net loss of -NOK239.5 million, reduced from a -NOK333.6 million deficit in the year-ago period. First-half revenue was up +27.5 % to NOK4.62 billion on a +21% increase in passengers carried to 7.1 million.
As of June 30, (NWG) had 59 airplanes in its fleet, including 35 new 737-800s. So far this year, it has received 12 new 737-800s; three more will be delivered later this year. Older 737-300s are being phased out.
Entering the third quarter, the group said that demand and advance bookings have been “satisfactory” and that Wi-Fi equipment installation onboard its new 737-800s is proceeding as planned. It said 11 airplanes will have Internet access this summer, and by the end of the year Wi-Fi equipment will be installed on 21 airplanes. (NWG) is maintaining its earlier guidance for full-year capacity growth in (ASK)s of +25%, mainly from increasing its fleet by adding 737-800s.
September 2011: The Oxford Aviation Academy (OAA) concluded a new five-year training services and support agreement with Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG). Under terms, the (OAA) will construct a dedicated three-classroom facility in Oslo, solely for the use by (NWG) and will purchase a new 737-800 full-flight simulator (FFS). The new simulator is expected to be certified and fully operational by the third quarter 2012.
October 2011: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) reported third-quarter consolidated net income of +NOK494.9 million/+$88.3 million, down -6.3% from +NOK528.1 million in the year-ago period, when earnings were affected by a currency gain of +NOK172 million not related to the operation.
Revenue soared +19.4% year-over-year to NOK3.38 billion, while operating expenses, excluding leasing and depreciation, increased +9% to NOK2.17 billion, producing earnings before depreciation and leasing, of +NOK1.21 billion, up +43.6% from a NOK839.9 million (EBITDAR) in the prior-year quarter. (EBIT) soared +61% to NOK923.3 million.
“We are very satisfied with our best-ever quarterly results. Lower cost is key to increased competitiveness,” (NWG) CEO, Bjorn Kjos said. “This quarter alone, we have reduced our overall costs by as much as -10%. Even excluding the high fuel prices, we [have] manage[d] to reduce our cost, thanks to our growing fleet of new and more fuel-efficient airplanes. We are now significantly starting to reap the benefits of having a new, greener, more cost-effective and unitary fleet.”
From the end of the third quarter, (NWG) had 61 airplanes in its fleet, comprising 44 737-800s (up 15 from last year) and 17 737-300s (down 11 from last year). It will take delivery of two new 737-800s in the fourth quarter. Thirty new 737-800s will have Wi-Fi equipment installed by the end of the year.
(NWG) set a new passenger record and carried more than >4.6 million passengers in the third quarter, up +21% on the year-ago period. Traffic rose +27% to 5.47 billion (RPK)s on a +22% lift in capacity to 6.48 billion (ASK)s, producing a load factor of 84% LF, up +4 points. (RASK) rose +4.6% to NOK0.45 and (CASK) fell -9.8% to NOK0.37. (CASK) ex-fuel decreased -23.3% to NOK0.23. On-time performance was a record 99.9% in the quarter, up from 99.7% in the same quarter last year.
(NWG) said that demand and advance bookings have been “satisfactory” entering the fourth quarter. It expects “continued competitive pressure” since rivals are announcing capacity increases and lowering fares in parts of the Scandinavian market. (NWG) noted it will “continue to take advantage of its increasing competitive power realized through continuous cost-cutting, and from introducing the 737-800s with a lower operating cost.”
737-86J (36879, LN-NIB), ex-(D-ABMA), delivery.
November 2011: Norwegian (NWG) is Europe's 4th largest Low Cost Carrier (LCC) by revenues (after Ryanair (RYR); easyJet (EZY); and Air Berlin (BER). (NWG) flies to only one city in Ireland: Dublin.
With an expanding fleet of new 737-800s equipped with Wi-Fi, (NWG) will fly 34 new routes starting in March, when summer schedules take effect. These routes are from either Denmark, Finland, Norway or Sweden, many to sunshine Mediterranean spots. Some of the non-Mediterranean additions include Helsinki - Paris; Copenhagen - Milan; Oslo - Kiev; and Gothenburg - London Gatwick.
(NWG) will open a new base at Sandefjord Torp (TRF), south of Oslo, initially basing one 737-800 at the airport. (NWG) will launch eight new routes from (TRF) to Bergen, Trondheim, Evenes, Berlin, Palma, Las Palmas, Antalya, and Nice. (NWG) also operates nonstop flights to Alicante and Malaga from (TRF).
“(NWG) sees a considerable potential both in the business and leisure segments in the greater Torp area, with its approximate population of 650,000. That’s why we will base one 737-800 at Torp from March 2012 and launch eight new routes,” said CEO, Bjorn Kjos.
(NWG) reiterated it is on track with its plan to install passenger Wi-Fi capabilities on its airplanes and said that when the Torp base takes off, 80% of its fleet will be equipped with Wi-Fi.
December 2011: Boeing (TBC) has rolled out its first 737NG at the production rate of 35 airplanes a month and is on track to deliver the airplane to launch customer Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) in January.
Boeing (TBC) delivered its 200th Boeing Sky Interior-equipped airplane, to Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) on December 19. It is (NWG)'s 18th Next-Generation 737-800 with the new interior.
January 2012: Wi-Fi, offered free, now available on half of all Norwegian (NWG) 737s; will reach 80% by the spring.
On the "green" newsfront, Norwegian airport operator Avinor has asked Ramboll Energy, a consultancy, to explore the viability of sustainable, “profitable” bio-jet fuel for civil aviation in Norway.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has arranged and closed financing facilities for NOK600 million/$116.9 million for pre-delivery payment (PDP) financing. The facilities cover (PDP) financing for airplanes delivering in the current 2012 - 2014 financial planning time horizon. These facilities are part of (NWG)’s ongoing financing activities for 55 new 737-800W airplanes, scheduled for delivery from 2012 to 2018.
(NWG) has introduced new routes from its bases across Scandinavia:
Aalborg - Berlin Schönefeld: 3x weekly 737-800 service starting on May 4;
Aalesund - Alicante: weekly 737-800 service has started on November 5;
Bergen - Edinburgh: 2x weekly 737-800 service starting on March 30;
Bodo - Las Palmas: weekly 737-800 service has started on November 4;
Copenhagen Kastrup - Belgrade: 2x weekly 737-800 service starting on May 4;
Copenhagen Kastrup - Berlin Schönefeld: 4x weekly 737-800 service has started on December 8;
Copenhagen Kastrup - Bourgas: 2x weekly seasonal 737-800 service between June 25 and October 26;
Copenhagen Kastrup - Bratislava: 2x weekly 737-800 service starting on May 3;
Copenhagen Kastrup - Marseilles: weekly seasonal 737-800 service between June 30 and August 11;
Copenhagen Kastrup - Milan Malpensa: 2x weekly 737-800 service starting on June 29;
Copenhagen Kastrup - Riga: 3x weekly 737-800 service starting on May 4;
Copenhagen Kastrup - Szczecin: 3x weekly 737-800 service starting on May 4;
Gothenburg Landvetter - London Gatwick: 6x weekly 737-800 service starting on March 29;
Helsinki - Ivalo: 3x weekly 737-800 service has started on December 1;
Helsinki - Kefalonia: weekly seasonal 737-800 service between May 28 and August 6;
Helsinki - Kerkyra: 2x weekly seasonal 737-800 service between May 25 and September 28;
Helsinki - Kittilä: 3x weekly 737-800 service has started on December 2;
Helsinki - Palma de Mallorca: 3x weekly 737-800 service starting on May 26;
Helsinki - Paris Orly: 3x weekly 737-800 service starting on April 20;
Helsinki - Rhodes: weekly seasonal 737-800 service between May 26 and August 11;
Oslo Gardermoen - Ajaccio: up to 2x weekly seasonal 737-300 service between June 2 and September 29;
Oslo Gardermoen - Andenes: 2x weekly seasonal 737-300 service between June 24 and August 19;
Oslo Gardermoen - Bratislava: 2x weekly 737-300 service starting on March 28;
Oslo Gardermoen - Cologne/Bonn: 3x weekly 737-300/-800 service starting on March 27 (replacing Dusseldorf International route);
Oslo Gardermoen - Funchal: weekly 737-800 service has started on November 5;
Oslo Gardermoen - Kefalonia: weekly seasonal 737-800 service between June 28 and August 18;
Oslo Gardermoen - Kiev Borispol: 2x weekly 737-300 service starting on June 8;
Oslo Gardermoen - Menorca: weekly seasonal 737-800 service between June 27 and August 18;
Oslo Gardermoen - Poznan: 2x weekly 737-300/-800 service has started on November 1;
Oslo Gardermoen - Preveza: weekly seasonal 737-800 service between June 24 and August 18;
Oslo Gardermoen - Reykjavik Keflavik: 3x weekly 737-300/-800 service starting on June 7;
Oslo Gardermoen - Skiathos: 2x weekly seasonal 737-300 service between June 26 and August 18;
Oslo Torp - Antalya: 2x weekly 737-800 service starting on March 25;
Oslo Torp - Bergen: 2x daily 737-800 service starting on March 1;
Oslo Torp - Berlin Schönefeld: 2x weekly 737-800 service starting on March 26;
Oslo Torp - Harstad/Narvik: 2x weekly 737-800 service starting on March 26;
Oslo Torp - Las Palmas: weekly 737-800 service starting on March 27;
Oslo Torp - Malaga: weekly 737-800 service has started on November 5;
Oslo Torp - Nice: 2x weekly 737-800 service starting on March 25;
Oslo Torp - Palma de Mallorca: 2x weekly 737-800 service starting on March 26;
Oslo Torp - Trondheim: 2x daily 737-800 service starting on March 1;
Oulu - Rhodes: weekly seasonal 737-800 service between April 21 and September 29;
Stockholm Arlanda - Amsterdam: 6x weekly 737-800 service starting on March 30;
Stockholm Arlanda - Kerkyra: weekly seasonal 737-800 service between May 11 and September 28;
Stockholm Arlanda - Krakow: 3x weekly 737-800 service starting on March 30;
Stockholm Arlanda - Menorca: weekly seasonal 737-800 service between May 11 and September 28;
Stockholm Arlanda - Riga: 3x weekly 737-800 service starting on April 19;
Stockholm Arlanda - Turku: 4x weekly 737-800 service has started on November 3;
Stockholm Arlanda - Vaasa: 2x weekly 737-800 service starting on April 13;
Trondheim - Berlin Schönefeld: 2x weekly 737-800 service starting on March 28;
(NWG) is giving up its domestic routes from Oslo Rygge to Bergen and Trondheim on January 3. It has also temporarily suspended its Aalborg - London Gatwick route for the winter season and terminated its services from Copenhagen Kastrup to Karup and from Trondheim to Stavanger from the end of October. (NWG) has added a 737-800 from Air Berlin ((BER) that had not been taken up by (BER).
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has signed agreements with Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) for a total of 222 new airplanes.
The Boeing (TBC) firm order includes 100 (CFM) (Leap-1B)-powered 737 MAX and 22 737-800 airplanes, valued at $11.4 billion at list prices. (NWG) becomes the European launch customer for the 737 MAX. Boeing (TBC) said this was its largest-ever order from a European carrier.
The Airbus (EDS) firm order is for 100 A320neos.
The firm orders have a total value of approximately NOK127 billion/$21.6 billion at list prices. The airplane purchase is supported by the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im) and European Export Credit Agencies.
The agreement also includes additional purchase rights for 100 737 MAX8 and 50 A320neos. Deliveries will begin in 2016. (NWG) did not announce the engine selection for the neos, for which the options are the Pratt & Whitney (PW1100G) and (CFM) International (Leap-1A) engines.
“Today is a historic day for (NWG). The order is the largest ever in European aviation history and marks a major milestone in the company’s 10-year history. We have secured our fleet renewal for years to come and are very pleased with the agreements with both Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC),” said (NWG) (CEO) Bjorn Kjos. “(NWG) has now reached a size where we will benefit from having two suppliers, both in terms of ensuring adequate flight capacity, flexibility and competition between two manufacturers,” he said.
(NWG) operates a fleet of 62 737s (48 737-800s and 14 737-300s) on about 300 routes to more than >100 destinations across Europe and into North Africa and the Middle East. (NWG) carried 15.7 million passengers in 2011, an increase of +19.8% compared to the previous year.
(NWG) said this transaction lifts its order book to 150 purchase rights and 277 airplanes for future delivery, including 55 previously ordered 737-800s and a firm order for six 787-8 Dreamliners.
SEE ATTACHED "FLIGHT INTERNATIONAL" ARTICLE - - "NWG-2012-01 RECORD JET ORDER A/B."
2 737-8JPs (39419, LN-NOY; 39420, LN-NOZ), (AWAS) (AWW) leased.
February 2012: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has been selected as the preferred bidder by the Norwegian Armed Forces to provide domestic and international flights for its personnel. The three year contract starts from January 31st.
Fresh from placing one of Europe's biggest ever airplane orders, (NWG) (CEO), Bjoern Kjos predicted more airline collapses in Europe this year and said (NWG) stood ready to plug the gaps, while setting its sights on Asia. Kjos said he saw the airline expanding into Asia with the creation of new bases there.
"I think there will be lots of opportunities in Europe in 2012 because there are too many airlines that have way too old fleets to be profitable with the oil prices of today," said Kjos, a former fighter pilot and mystery novel writer. "I think you will see airlines collapsing . . . high costs and old planes are a dangerous mix," he added in an interview with "Reuters."
Although some analysts see the firm's purchase of 222 narrow body planes as risky, shareholders have lined up behind Kjos, pushing the stock sharply higher in an outbreak of support rare in an industry otherwise dogged by problems. Kjos, 65, who is working on his second mystery novel and still flies gliders, brushed aside suggestions his massive airplane purchase was a risk. "Not buying new planes would be taking the risk," he said. "You benefit from the 12 to 15% lower fuel burn. There is no way you can fly an old airplane in the future given where fuel prices are going."
He said (NWG), which is set to receive its first wide-body 787 Dreamliner next year, will base the airplane in Asia, the world's fastest-growing major market, to bring Asian passengers to Europe.
"We foresee that if we're able to fly with the 787 Dreamliner, with an Asian crew, with our existing infrastructure, we should easily be able to operate the 787 at 50% of the cost to our competitor," said Kjos, who flew the F-5 Freedom Fighter in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
"When you are able to cut the cost in two, you can build your own volumes," said Kjos, whose love of flying dates back to the age of eight, when his father built a hangar on their land to survey farmland from the air.
(NWG) has six 787s on order but says it could buy dozens more to expand its long-haul operations with particular focus on Asia.
Kjos, a lawyer by training, said the 787 and the A350, set to enter service in 2014, both offered the economics to make the low-cost carrier (LCC) model work, and budget airlines would now expand into long-haul routes.
Kjos also would not rule out eventually setting up an Asia-based short-haul airline. "It might be a possibility to do that in the future," said Kjos, who, along with Chairman, Bjoern Kise, holds 27.3% shares of Norwegian (NWG).
Kjos came to the airline business by accident when a regional airline, a friend's employer, collapsed and Kjos could not find enough investors to put up cash for a new start-up and keep friends employed. He eventually sank over 1 million crowns of his own money into the airline and remains one of the last of the original investors.
(NWG)'s expansion to over >220 airplanes would put it in the same league as Ryanair (RYN), which operates about 275 airplanes.
Kjos added that (NWG) would not take over failing airlines but would jump into any vacuum that served its Northern European market, as it is already doing in Malaga, Spain. "We are strong in the northern region and that's where we'll concentrate on. I think central Europe is very much covered," Kjos said.
Whether Kjos gambled with the new order or not, shareholders have so far benefited as the stock now trades +19% higher than prior to the order.
Kjos added that (NWG) has cost targets rather than volume targets and rivals often joke that the airline's acronyms, (NAS), actually stands for "Norwegian Air Slaves."
"Going from 4 planes to 60 in the last 10 years was a lot more challenging than going from 60 to 150 or 200," said Lars Erik Moen, a senior portfolio manager at Danske Capital, which owns about 1.5 percent of Norwegian (NWG).
"It's a brave and correct move, especially when you see that European airlines are slow in ordering," he said, adding his fund has not sold any Norwegian (NWG) shares since the announcement.
Another top shareholder added that investors in the airline industry expect bold moves because standing still leads to failure. "They've followed through on their strategy for seven or eight years and now the size changes but not the direction," said a fund manager at a top shareholder who asked not to be named. "We are committed because they are consistent."
March 2012: 3,443,301 passengers travelled through one of Norway Avinors airports during February this year. This is +13.4% more than February 2011. Some of the increase is due to the leap year. Taking that into account the increase was approximately +9%.
The growth in international traffic was +19.6%, while domestic traffic increased +10.7%. Movements increased +6.3%.
Traffic at Oslo airport, Gardermoen increased +12.4 %. At Bergen Flesland airport, the increase was +9.4%, Stavanger Sola airport, +12.4% and Trondheim Vaernes airport, +9.,9%.
Average growth at regional airports was +11.9% and at Avinors local airports, the increase in passenger traffic was +13%.
Norwegian (NWG) started its first services to Cologne/Bonn (CGN) in Germany, from its main base at Oslo (OSL). Flights operate three times weekly (with a fourth frequency from July) and in effect replace (NWG)’s services to nearby Düsseldorf that were dropped at the end of the winter season. In addition, (NWG) has added five more routes from Oslo Torp (TRF); one domestic route, one to Germany, and three ‘leisure’ routes to Antalya (AYT), Nice (NCE) and Palma de Mallorca (PMI) airports. Only on Palma does (NWG) face direct competition, with Ryanair (RYR) also providing two weekly flights.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG), the third largest low-cost carrier (LCC) in Europe, is the newest Boeing (TBC) "GoldCare" customer, with a 12-year agreement that covers (NWG)’s future 787 Dreamliner fleet. (NWG) has three 787-8s on firm order, with commitments to lease three additional 787s.
(NWG) has selected GoldCare Enterprise, which encompasses the complete parts, engineering, and maintenance solution. (NWG) also is the first customer to select the line maintenance option through the GoldCare Maintenance Reapaire & Overhaul (MRO) network, in which Boeing (TBC) manages scheduled and minor maintenance that is conducted between flights and overnight. (NWG) will maintain active control responsibility over all engineering and maintenance activities.
“GoldCare builds on the Boeing (TBC) long relationship with this important customer. (NWG) already operates the Boeing Maintenance Performance Toolbox and is Boeing's largest customer for both 737 Component Services and Landing Gear Exchange Programs,” said Lou Mancini, Senior VP, Commercial Aviation Services. “We look forward to further proving the advantages and value that our Boeing Edge services portfolio bring to their operation.”
“Having worked with Boeing since we began operations nearly 10 years ago, we have great expectations and confidence as we prepare for our 787 Dreamliners and the implementation of GoldCare,” said Asgeir Nyseth, Chief Operating Officer (COO), Norwegian Air Shuttle. “We look forward to leveraging the GoldCare service which will allow us to focus on providing outstanding service for our customers.”
GoldCare is Boeing (TBC)’s flexible lifecycle solution that provides maintenance, engineering and material management as a multi-year service managed by (TBC). GoldCare utilizes (TBC)’s advanced global e-enabling technologies.
Support using GoldCare Enterprise will allow (NWG) to operate its new long haul service efficiently, knowing that its airplane assets achieve maximum utilization and are maintained to all regulatory requirements and industry standards.
Within GoldCare, (TBC) leads a global team of suppliers and (MRO) providers to deliver airplane support at a predictable cost based on flight hours. GoldCare provides airlines with 24/7 operations center support using the latest technology to turn airplane operating data into diagnostic information that enhances efficiency and maximizes airplane availability.
March 2012: Norwegian (NWG) continued expanding at Oslo Torp (TRF), when (NWG) launched two domestic routes. Bergen (BGO) and Trondheim (TRD) are now each served 12 times weekly with (NWG)’s 737-800 airplanes. Competition comes from Widerøe, which operates 37 times a week to Bergen and 23 times weekly on the Trondheim route.
April 2012: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) reported a first-quarter net loss of -$49.8 million, a slight improvement on its loss of -$51 million for the year-ago period. (NWG) President & (CEO), Bjorn Kjos said the results were due to the first quarter being a traditionally weak period, combined with “particularly challenging” oil prices, up some +15% compared to the same period last year.
Revenue rose +25% to $412 million and traffic rose +19% to 3.6 million passengers. Despite a +17% rise in capacity, load factors rose +3% to 77% LF. Yields also rose +3%.
New 737-800s entering the fleet to replace older, less fuel-efficient 737-300s was helping offset fuel expenditures, Kjos said.
(NWG) transported more than >1.3 million passengers in March, up +18% compared to the year-ago month. Load factor was 78% LF and (RASK) grew +5%.
(NWG) has announced plans to operate international services from the Norwegian airport of Molde Årø airport (MOL) for the first time in 2013 offering routes to Berlin Brandenburg International airport (BER) and Malaga Pablo Ruiz Picasso airport (AGP).
(NWG) launched low-frequency operations between the Swedish capital airport Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) and Vaasa (VAA) on Finland’s west coast on 13 April. The 430-kilometer route is operated twice-weekly with 737-800s. Competition comes from Blue 1 (BLF)’s 17 flights a week. This is the fast-growing (NWG)’s first route to Vaasa.
(NWG) will take delivery of 13 new Boeing airplanes in 2012. The first five airplanes have been delivered. Forty-six of (NWG)’s 62 airplanes are now Wi-Fi-enabled. (NWG) transported close to 16 million passengers in 2011 and is the third largest low-cost airline in Europe.
(NWG) operates 294 routes to more than >114 destinations and employs approximately 2,500 people.
May 2012: Norwegian (NWG) has taken over the Copenhagen Kastrup (CPH) - Karup (KRP) route on May 6 from bankrupt competitor, Cimber Sterling (STR) offering up to four daily 737-300 services on the route. It had previously served the route in competition with (STR) between January 2010 and October 2011 and then pulled out given the route could not sustain two carriers.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has leased an additional two 787-8 Dreamliners, taking its total fleet to eight. Of its existing six orders, three were bought and three leased. The new airplanes will be leased for 12 years from (ILFC) (ILF), with delivery due for early 2014. (NWG) will take delivery of three 787s in 2013, four in 2014 and the final airplane early in 2015.
PLEASE READ THE SHORT anna.aero INTERVIEW WITH DANIEL SKJELDAM, CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER (CCO) (IN MANAGEMENT BELOW).
June 2012: Russia and the Scandinavian countries of Norway, Denmark and Sweden are developing a new bilateral agreement to replace the document signed in 1956.
Russian authorities want approval to operate scheduled flights from Russia to Oslo, Bergen, Tromso, Haugesund, Fagernes, Kirkenes, Trondheim, Stavanger in Norway, Copenhagen, Billund and one more point in Denmark; as well as Stockholm, Goteborg, Malmo, Lulea and Ostersund in Sweden.
Norwegian carriers have asked for routes from Norway to Moscow, St Petersburg, Murmansk, Arkhangelsk and four additional points.
Danish airlines are seeking service from Denmark to Moscow, St Petersburg and Kaliningrad. Swedish carriers are looking to fly from Sweden to Moscow, St Petersburg and three additional points.
The next negotiation on the new agreement will take place at year end or early 2013.
Russian and Scandinavian aviation authorities have confirmed the agreement will include multiple designations of carriers between the countries but with limitations of one carrier per city pair for passenger service. There will be no restrictions on cargo services.
Russian authorities have refused to discuss implementing the agreed-upon principles concerning Siberian overflight with their Scandinavian partners. In 2006, the European Union (EU) and Russian Federation agreed to phase out costly Siberian overflight fees by 2013.
Deputy Minister of Transport, Valery Okulov said Russia will review the agreement this year because of the implementation of the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS).
Norwegian (NWG) has finalized its order with Airbus Industrie (EDS) for 100 A320-200neo airplanes and 50 purchase options that was originally announced back in January 2012 along with an order for 100 737 MAXs and 22 737-800s.
See video - - "NORWAY BASE JUMPING" - -
For more excitement in this scenic spot check out more beauty:
July 2012: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) reported a pre-tax profit of +NOK125 million/+$20.5 million for the second quarter of 2012, up almost +NOK50 million (+68%) from +NOK74.5 million in the year-ago period.
This resulted in a second-quarter net profit of +NOK90.5 million, up +68.5% from the +NOK53.7 million of the same period last year.
Despite the positive numbers, (NWG) said the figures had been adversely affected by June’s security staff strike at airports across Norway that cost DY NOK70 million. High oil prices also continue to affect the airline.
However, the positive results are a marked improvement on the first quarter loss of -NOK285.5 million, and result in a net loss of -NOK195 million for the first half of 2012, compared to the -NOK239.5 million loss recorded in the first half of 2011.
Announcing the results, (NWG) (CEO), Bjørn Kjos said: “This quarter’s result has, as expected, been considerably affected by high oil prices and additional costs as a result of the strike. However, the underlying result that we present today is significantly better than last year.”
Second-quarter revenue rose +16% to NOK3.17 billion, giving an overall figure of NOK5.5 billion for the first half of the year, up +20% year-over-year.
Passenger numbers increased +11% during the quarter to 4.47 million passengers and load factor was down -2% points to 76% LF. (ASK)s increased +15%, while (RPK)s were down -12%.
Costs for the second quarter were up +5% to NOK2.49 billion from NOK2.38 billion in the same quarter of 2011. (NWG) attributed this to the capacity increase, a +19% increase in the price of fuel compared with the same period last year, and weakening of the krone against the USA dollar. Half-year figures show that costs were up just over >+13% at NOK5.1 billion, compared to NOK4.5 billion in the first half of 2011.
(NWG) has taken delivery of eight new 737-800s this year, with a further five due to join the fleet later this year. (NWG) said more fuel efficient airplanes generated savings of -NOK38 million during the second quarter.
The launch of long-haul operations is still on track for the first half of 2013, and (NWG) expects to start selling tickets for these flights in the second half.
(NWG) is increasing its presence in Las Palmas (LPA), Canary Island, from the end of October/early November. (NWG) will launch one weekly service to (LPA) from the Norway cities of Alesund, Evenes, Haugesund, Rygge and Tromso. From Sweden, (NWG) will launch new (LPA) routes from Karlstad, Malmo and Umea. In addition, (NWG) will launch weekly flights to (LPA) from Billund/Denmark and Oulu/Finland.
(NWG) is also increasing service from 2X-weekly to 3X-weekly on (LPA) routes from Torp, Bergen, Trondheim and Stavanger. (NWG) will increase its Oslo - (LPA) service to 8X-weekly; Stockholm Arlanda - (LPA) service from 3X-weekly to 4X-weekly; and Copenhagen - (LPA) service from 3X-weekly to 5X-weekly. All flights will be operated with 737-800s.
Boeing (TBC) has expanded a landing gear exchange program contract with Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) to cover an additional 15 737NG airplanes.
737-8JP (39015, LN-NGB), sold to DY Leasing and leased back.
September 2012: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) (CEO), Bjorn Kjos expects to see a change in traffic flows when the Scandinavian airline launches low-cost, long-haul services in approximately one year. Although the arrival of (NWG)’s 787-8s brings routes such as Stockholm - Bangkok within reach, the development should not be regarded only as providing new leisure routes for Scandinavian tourists, Kjos said.
Kjos said, “The new trend we will see is people flying east to west, from the Far East into Europe. That is why we will be basing crews in Bangkok and our future competitors will be Far East carriers.”
He said long-haul, low-cost services would take off because of the economies offered by the new generation of airplanes such as the 787 and the A350. (NWG) has eight 787s on order.
“There will be around -20% lower technical costs and -20% lower fuel costs,” he said. “That means that, if you compare it with the next-best in class, we will save around -£5 million/-$7.2 million a year per airplane, just for fuel.”
October 2012: Norwegian Air Shuttle (DY) reported a pre-tax profit of +NOK873 million/+$152 million for the third quarter, up +27.3% from the +NOK686 million earned on a similar basis in prior-year quarter. This was, (NWG) said, its “best ever” result.
(NWG) (CEO), Bjørn Kjos said the results “show that the growth has been well adapted to the market demand. The load factor is high and the growth in passenger traffic is very good.”
During the September quarter, (NWG) carried almost 5.2 million passengers, +13% more than the 2011 third quarter, and a new record for the airline. Passenger load factor remained high at 82% LF, although this marked a -2 point drop over the year-ago period. (ASK)s increased +20% during the period and (RPK)s were up +17%.
Revenue for the quarter was up +25% year-over-year to NOK4.2 billion. (RASK) was NOK0.48, up slightly from NOK0.45 in the year-ago period. (NWG) said the (RASK) rise over last year reflected higher yields despite an increased average sector length of 5% and the reduced load factor.
(NWG) highlighted continued economic uncertainty, competitive pressure, fuel prices, currency fluctuations and industrial action as potential risks for the future, but stressed it is on target to launch long-haul operations in the first half of 2013.
By the start of the winter schedule, (NWG) will have two bases operational in Spain, Malaga and Las Palmas, and (NWG) has just announced plans to establish two additional bases, at London Gatwick (LGW) and Alicante, in time for the start of the 2013 summer schedule.
(NWG) will position a total of four 737-800s at (LGW), with flights due to commence next spring. Pilots (FC) and cabin attendants (CA) crew will be recruited locally.
Norwegian (NWG) launched two new routes from Sweden to Gran Canaria (LPA) on 29 October. (NWG) now flies once a week from both Malmö (MMX) in southernmost Sweden and Karlstad (KSD) in central Sweden with its 737-800s. Competition on the Malmö route comes from TUIfly Nordic (TNS)’s two weekly flights and Primera Air (PRI)’s weekly operation. (NWG) already serves Gran Canaria from three other Swedish airports: Stockholm Arlanda, Gothenburg Landvetter, and Umeå
Following its two bases at Las Palmas Gran Canaria International (LPA) and Malaga Pablo Ruiz Picasso (AGP), which both only have routes to Scandinavia, it will now start venturing into other routes from London Gatwick (LGW). Its base in Alicante (ALC) will also only have new routes to Scandinavia following the example of Malaga and Las Palmas. (NWG) had previously operated a base at Warsaw Fryderyk Chopin (WAW) between 2006 and 2010 but has since again concentrated on routes from Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. From Alicante, (NWG) plans to add new routes to Billund (BLL), Harstad-Narvik Evenes (EVE), Haugesund Karmøy (HAU), Karlstad (KSD), Malmö Sturup (MMX), Molde Årø (MOL), Oulu (OUL), Tromsø Langnes (TOS) and Umeå (UME). From Gatwick, it plans to initially add Alicante (ALC), Barcelona El Prat International (BCN), Dubrovnik (DBV), Faro (FAO), Fuerteventura El Matorral (FUE), Lanzarote Arrecife (ACE), Las Palmas Gran Canaria International (LPA), Malaga Pablo Ruiz Picasso (AGP), Marseilles Provence (MRS), Nice Côte d'Azur (NCE), Palma de Mallorca Son Sant Joan (PMI), Rome Fiumicino Leonardo da Vinci International (FCO), Split Kastel (SPU), Tenerife Sur (TFS) and Tromsø Langnes (TOS).
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has created a long-haul subsidiary ("Norwegian Long Haul") to accommodate the 2013 arrival of its first 787-8.
(NWG) is buying three and leasing five 787s, with the first due to arrive in April 2013 and enter service in early summer. Initial routes will be from Oslo and Stockholm to Bangkok and New York. Details have not yet been confirmed on which New York airport will be used.
The new subsidiary will retain the standard "Norwegian" branding. However, it will be a separate organization and have its own air operator’s certificate (AOC), (NWG) spokeswoman, Åsa Larsson said.
“It has always been our plan to put the 787 in a separate company,” she said.
Lufthansa Technik (DLH) (LTK) signed a five-year total base maintenance support contract with Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) to cover its 737-800 fleet.
November 2012: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) continued growing its network with the new Gran Canaria (LPA) base contributing with eight of (NWG)’s 14 new services. Five of the routes from the Canary Island are to Norwegian regional airports, while regional airports in Sweden, Denmark and Finland got one route each. In the case of Billund (BLL) in Denmark, the route is relaunched since (NWG) operated the route in 2010. It was also operated by Cimber Sterling (STR) prior to (STR)’s demise.
(NWG) will take the delivery of its first 787 in April 2013. The second and third airplanes will enter the fleet in June and November, respectively. Delivery of an additional four 787s scheduled for 2014 and one for 2015.
Last month, (NWG) said it created a long-haul subsidiary (Norwegian Long Haul) to accommodate the 2013 arrival of its first 787-8. The first 787 scheduled flights will launch May 30 with 2X-weekly, Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) - New York (JFK) services. From June 25, frequency will increase to 3X-weekly. Twice-weekly, Stockholm - (JFK) services will launch May 31, increasing to 3X-weekly from June 26.
From June 23, twice-weekly (OSL) - Bangkok (BKK) services follow, increasing to 3X-weekly June 25. 3X-weekly, Arlanda - (BKK) flights will launch June 20.
(NWG) will operate seasonal, Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) service to Corsica (weekly, May 4), Pisa (weekly, May 4) and Bourgas (2X-weekly, June 25). It will also operate 6X-weekly, (ARN) - Paris Orly from April 11. (NWG) will launch Oslo service to New York (2X-weekly, May 30; increasing to 3X-weekly June 25) and Bangkok (2X-weekly, June 1; increasing to 3X-weekly June 24).
(NWG) is one of the few airlines that includes in-flight Wi-Fi with the price of the air fare.
December 2012: Norwegian (NWG) will launch a weekly, Umeå - Alicante service on April 3 and a weekly, Karlstad - Alicante service on April 9. The services will be operated by 737-800s.
Norway’s air navigation services provider Avinor has begun a week-long, real-time simulation to validate the Southern Norway Airspace concept. The simulation, performed in conjunction with Eurocontrol, will include Point Merge implementation for the Westcoast TMA (Stavanger-Sola and Bergen-Flesland airports) and Vaernes TMA (Trondheim airport).
Point Merge is a procedural concept based on a specific Precision Area Navigation route structure that is made of a point (the merge point) with pre-defined legs (the sequencing legs) equidistant from this point that are used for shortening or stretching the arrival path. Developed by the Eurocontrol Experimental Center, it uses existing technology to improve and harmonize arrival operations by enabling continuous descent approaches and increasing arrival predictability.
Point Merge is a building block for medium- and long-term developments, such as 4D trajectory management, in the context of the Single European Sky Air Traffic Management (ATM) Research Program.
The Southern Norway Airspace Project was established to address present and future capacity, safety, environment and effectiveness challenges. It will provide a new airspace organization, with associated working methods, that should increase safety levels, help to meet expected demand until 2030, increase capacity by +64%, and reduce emissions of greenhouse gases per flight by -5%.
January 2013: Norwegian (NWG) added seasonal services from Helsinki (HEL) to the Austrian ski destination of Salzburg (SZG) on 5 January. (NWG) will operate weekly flights between the Finnish capital and the Austrian Alps until 30 March competing with TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX)’s also weekly departures. (NWG) will launch 3X-weekly, Helsinki - Budapest 737-800 service on April 11.
February 2013: Norwegian Airlines (NWG) reported a full-year net profit of +NOK456.6 million/+$82.9 million, up from a +NOK122.1 million profit year-over-year. (NWG) said the results were due to solid traffic growth and international expansion. “We are pleased with the 2012 results, particularly with an improved result of more than >+NOK200 million in a [fourth] quarter, usually less profitable for many airlines. The load factor remains stable and the traffic growth is satisfactory,” (CEO), Bjorn Kjos said.
Revenue rose +22% to NOK12.9 billion, producing an (EBITDA) operating profit of +NOK788.7 million, up +11% from a +NOK709.9 million operating profit in the prior-year.
Traffic rose +17% to 20.4 billion (RPK)s on a +18% increase in capacity to 25.9 billion (ASK)s, producing a load factor of 79% LF, down one point. Passenger numbers rose +13% to 17.7 million.
Yield rose +5% to NOK0.55, as (RASK)s increased +4% to NOK0.43, and (CASK) increased +4% to NOK0.47. (RASK) ex-fuel, was NOK0.32, up +4%.
“2012 was a year of international expansion and we have had necessary expenses related to the establishment of new operational bases in Thailand and Spain. These start-up costs are necessary in order to grow in a global industry. Global expansion also secures Scandinavian operations and employment,” Kjos said.
During 2012, (NWG) took delivery of 13 737-800s. This year, it will take delivery of an additional 14 737-800s and three 787s (although Boeing (TBC) has notified (NWG) that these could be delayed.
Boeing (TBC) has warned Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) of possible delays in delivery of its first 787 due to problems with lithium-ion batteries and the (FAA) grounding of the airplanes.
(NWG), which expected to receive the first two of eight 787-8s in late April and June, was scheduled to operate its first long-haul services from Oslo to New York and Bangkok in May. If the delay is confirmed, Norwegian (NWG) said it would lease replacement airplanes for up to three months to ensure the new services went ahead.
“I fully understand that customers who have been looking forward to flying our 787 Dreamliner during the first weeks are disappointed by today’s announcement,” (NWG) (CEO), Bjørn Kjos said. “We will, however, ensure that our passengers get to New York and Bangkok as smoothly and comfortably as possible. We will also give our customers the option to change their flights to a later departure free of charge. As one of Boeing (TBC)'s biggest customers in Europe, we expect that (TBC) does everything in its power to get the 787 ready for delivery as soon as possible,” he added. “We deeply regret the impact the recent events have had on the schedule of (NWG) and their customers. We are staying in close communication with the airline as we work toward an approved means of compliance with the (FAA) Airworthiness Directive (AD) and develop a plan for resumption of 787 deliveries.”
March 2013: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) commenced services on its 14th domestic route from Oslo (OSL) on 1 March, and now operates thrice-weekly schedule to Longyearbyen (LYR), Norway’s northernmost outpost located in the Svalbard archipelago in the Arctic. Flights on the 2,000 km route are operated with (NWG)’s 737-800s. This is (NWG)’s second time of serving the market as it first operated this route back in March 2008. The only other scheduled service from this remote Arctic airport is currently operated by (SAS), which runs an eight weekly schedule to Tromso.
(NWG) will launch weekly, London Gatwick - Ibiza on May 25.
Stavanger, the ‘oil capital’ of Norway; traffic up +6.8% in 2012. For a city with a population of less than <150,000, Stavanger has an extraordinarily busy airport, which in 2012 handled as many as 4.4 million passengers. The majority of this traffic comes from the oil industry, for which Stavanger serves as a major hub, owing to its location near the North Sea oil fields. Major oil companies have their offices in close proximity to the airport, including the state-owned petrol giant, Statoil. Combined with a significant proportion of affluent residents with high propensity to travel in its catchment, Stavanger Airport has stayed clear of major traffic losses in the aftermath of the global economic downturn and follows a path of solid growth.
According to data published by the Norwegian airport operator, Avinor, traffic at Stavanger Airport has been growing steadily in all of the years of the last decade, except for 2009, when a decrease of -3.3% was noted. However, at 3.62 million passengers handled in 2009, the number of passengers handled remained above the 2007 level of 3.53 million.
SEE ATTACHED - - "NWG-2013-03 - STAVANGER TRAFFIC."
While traffic recovery seemed sluggish in 2010 with only +1.6% more passengers using the airport than in the preceding year, 2011 saw a leap of +12.4%, which led the airport to pass the 4 million mark for the first time ever. Its growth trend continued at a slower pace in 2012, when the airport’s traffic grew +6.8% up to 4.4 million, and this pattern is set to persist in 2013, with the first two months of traffic increasing by +7.8% and +6.9% respectively.
A total of 34 destinations will be offered by airlines from Stavanger in April 2013. Of those, only three fall outside Northern and Central Europe (Alicante and Málaga (offered by both Scandinavian Airlines (SAS) and Norwegian (NWG) with twice- and single-weekly frequencies respectively), as well as Barcelona (twice-weekly by Vueling (VUZ)). About a third of destinations enjoys more than daily frequencies, often as a result of competing offerings from two or more airlines.
SEE ATTACHED - - "NWG-2013-03 - TOP 10 DESTINATIONS FROM STAVANGER."
Unsurprisingly, Oslo is the largest destination from Stavanger and accounts for a 28.2% of frequencies and 36.7% seats. (SAS) and Norwegian (NWG) compete in this core domestic market, offering 94 and 67 weekly flights, respectively, on the route in April 2013. However, (NWG) is operating with larger airplanes, which means that (NWG) offers only <14% less seats in the market than its competitor, compared to <29% less frequencies. Another domestic destination and the country’s second-largest city, Bergen, commands roughly half of the capacity (both in terms of frequencies and seats) offered from Stavanger to Oslo.
While no other destination accounts for more than >10% of the airport’s capacity, three large European hubs are served with high frequencies: – Copenhagen ((SAS): 38 weekly flights), Amsterdam (KLM): 35), and London Heathrow (British Airways (BAB): 14; (SAS): 7).
(SAS) and (NWG) share 75% of capacity. While a total of 14 airlines operate at Stavanger Airport in April 2013, the airport is hugely dominated by two carriers, (SAS) and (NWG), which account for 64% of weekly frequencies and as much as 76% of seats. Both carriers increased their offering in the course of last year: (SAS) added services to Málaga (1 weekly frequency), Paris (CDG) (4) and Stockholm Arlanda (15), while (NWG) launched Manchester (2) as its only new route from Stavanger since April 2012.
While Norwegian (NWG) has partially explored the growing market from Stavanger to Eastern Europe with services to two Polish destinations (twice-weekly each to Warsaw and Kraków), Wizz Air (WZZ) has emerged as the leading operator. While (WZZ) succumbed to competition from (NWG) on the route to Warsaw, it added thrice-weekly flights to Vilnius and this month, also twice-daily to Szczecin. (WZZ) also continues to offer thrice-weekly departures to Gdansk and twice-weekly to Katowice.
(NWG) will launch its long-haul services with Airbus (EDS) A340s to make up for delivery delays of its 787s. (NWG) will wet-lease two A340-300s from Portuguese leasing specialist HiFly (LXA) to begin its planned services to New York and Bangkok in late spring and early summer. The initial Oslo - New York (JFK) is scheduled for May 30, with Oslo - Bangkok following June 23.
Boeing (TBC) had warned (NWG) last month that the first two 787s, due for delivery in April and June from lessor (ILFC), might be delayed.
The A340s were previously used by Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Emirates (EAD).
April 2013: On April 28, Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) launched low-frequency seasonal services to Palma de Mallorca (PMI), which are scheduled to terminate on 21 October. While the route is initially served with a single weekly frequency, this is set to double on 28 June, in time for the high season. This brings to 10 the number of airports served by Norwegian (NWG) from Palma; four in Norway, two each in Denmark and Sweden, and one each in Finland and the UK.
(NWG) is launching a subsidiary, Norwegian Cargo, to accommodate growing international markets. The company will manage the Nordic market, opening up the possibility for more direct agreements.
(NWG) launched its first long-haul flights to the USA and Thailand in May. “This is the right time to establish a separate entity within the company to maintain and develop the transportation of goods and to ensure optimal utilization of the available cargo capacity,” Director Ground Operation & Ramp In-flight Services, Bjorn Erik Barman-Jenssen said.
(NWG) operates 73 airplanes on 330 routes to 120 destinations and employs approximately 3,000 people.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) narrows losses in 1st quarter.
(NWG) launched just nine routes during April 9th to April 15th, compared to 19 started the previous week. Helsinki (HEL) takes the lion share of the routes, with six services inaugurated to Athens (ATH), Bourgas (BOJ), Budapest (BUD), Dublin (DUB), Dubrovnik (DBV) and Prague (PRG). Of all the routes being launched, the weekly operation between Karlstad (KSD) and Alicante (ALC) has the longest sector length at 2,548 km, while the 1,323 km Helsinki to Prague route has the shortest flight distance. All flights are operated with (NWG)’s 737-800 airplanes.
(NWG) will begin 2X-weekly, Copenhagen - Fort Lauderdale service on November 29, and 2X-weekly, Stockholm - Fort Lauderdale on December 1.
(NWG) began 737 Gatwick service this month to: Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Malaga, Alicante, Barcelona, Majorca, Dubrovnik, Split, Faro, Rome, Nice, and Tromso. (NWG) will launch 2X-weekly, Oslo - Fort Lauderdale with leased A340s from November 30.
Oneworld (ONW) Alliance carrier, Finnair (FIN) has raised €53 million/$69.2 million from the disposal of its entire 4.69% stake in Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG), which it has held since 2007. (FIN) acquired the (NWG) shareholding through a share swap when its Swedish subsidiary, FlyNordic was sold to Norwegian (NWG). Under this deal, (FIN) had the option to increase its stake in (NWG) to 10% until 2008.
However, it has now sold its entire holding of 1,649,862 shares for €53 million, generating a capital gain of about €34 million, which will be posted as financial income in the airline’s 2013 second-quarter results. “The proceeds from the sale will be used for the development of Finnair (FIN) and implementation of its growth strategy,” (FIN) said.
When asked why (FIN) has decided to sell its shares at this stage, a (FIN) spokeswoman said: “We felt that this was the right time for us to sell.”
Row 44 has completed installation of its in-flight entertainment (IFE) system on 60 of (NWG)'s 737-800 airplanes, making it the first European airline to offer video-on-demand service to passengers' Wi-Fi-enabled devices.
The (IFE) service is powered through Ku-band satellites, offering passengers access to television shows and movies, as well as other interactive content via Wi-Fi.
The company's live television service can be made available to passengers as a separate Wi-Fi offering, independent of Internet access.
(NWG) expects to have Row 44's (IFE) service installed on more airplanes beginning later this year. (NWG) currently operates an all-Boeing fleet of 737 family airplanes, and plans to add more 737s and A320 family airplanes as it looks to phase out its older 737-300s.
May 2013: In April Norwegian Airlines (NWG)'s capacity (ASK)s were up +40%; Danish and Finnish routes nearly doubled.
(NWG) continued its European expansion as it tapped into the Germany - Spain market, which is dominated by Air Berlin (BER) and Condor Airlines (CDF) on leisure routes.
(NWG) began 3X-weekly, Liverpool - Copenhagen service. (NWG) began 737 London Gatwick service to: Lanzarote, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Malaga, Alicante, Barcelona, Majorca, Dubrovnik, Split, Faro, Rome, Nice, and Tromso. (NWG) added another low-frequency destination to its offering from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) on 4 May, and now operates weekly (Saturday) flights to Ajaccio (AJA) on the French island of Corsica. Flights are carried out using (NWG)'s fleet of 737-800s.
(NWG) begins Hamburg - Malaga and – Alicante (3X-weekly) from November 1; Hamburg - Gran Canaria and – Tenerife (2X-weekly, October 27). From Cologne - Malaga (3X-weekly, October 31), - Alicante (2X-weekly, November 1), - Gran Canaria and Tenerife (2X-weekly October 28). From Munich - Malaga (2X-weekly November 1), - Alicante (2X-weekly October 31) and Tenerife (2X-weekly October 29). (NWG) also begins 2X-weekly, London Gatwick - Fuerteventura on October 30.
(NWG) will launch 2X-weekly, Oslo - Fort Lauderdale, Florida with leased A340s from November 30.
June 2013: Norwegian (NWG) added six new routes to its summer schedule. On June 25, (NWG) commenced weekly services on the route from Copenhagen (CPH) to Sarajevo (SJJ), its second service to the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which it operates in competition with B&H Airlines (BOS)’ thrice-weekly schedule. All of these new routes only operate until mid-August.
Low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) will deploy its 787s on European routes this summer to familiarize its pilots (FC) with the type before using the 787 on long-haul missions.
(NWG) took delivery of its first 787-8 (EI-LNA). Bjorn Kjos, (CEO), (NWG) said that he anticipates success on its new long-haul routes to Bangkok and New York. He said the 787 is the only airplane that makes such operations economically feasible, citing its low per passenger operating costs, fuel burn and ability to fly up to 18 hours per day.
Kjos added that the same cost structure is possible with airplanes like the A330, A340 or 777. “For me, it’s all cost, cost, cost,” he said. (NWG) will use the 787 on flights between Oslo and Stockholm, and both Bangkok and New York from August, and between Copenhagen and Stockholm and Fort Lauderdale from November.
737-8FZ (31713, LN-NOV), (BBB) leased and 1st 787-808 Dreamliner (35304, EI-LNA "Sonia Henie - Norwegian Olympic Champion"), (ILFC) (ILF) leased, delivery - - SEE PHOTO - - "NWG-2013-06 - 1ST 787." A340313X (202, CS-TQZ), ex-(A6-ERR), Hi Fly (LXA) leased.
July 2013: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) more than doubled its second-quarter profit compared to the same period in 2012. It posted after-tax earnings of +NOK196.8 million/+$32.2 million, up from +NOK90.5 million year-over-year. Revenue for the period was NOK4 billion, up +27% over the year-ago period. (NWG) noted that during the quarter it saw fully booked flights and had a -9% reduction in costs.
Norwegian (NWG) became the eighth European carrier and first low cost carrier (LCC) to serve the Southeast Asian market in June 2013, when it launched services to Bangkok from Oslo and Stockholm. (NWG) brings a return of low-cost services to the Asia - Europe market following the withdrawal of AirAsia X (ASX), which dropped its A340-operated London and Paris routes in March 2011. AirAsia X (ASX) is now focusing on routes within the Asia-Pacific region and flights of less than <9 hours, using A330-300s.
Norwegian (NWG) has big ambitions for Southeast Asia and is preparing to open a base at Bangkok which could support additional flights to Europe. But for now, (NWG)'s main focus is on more rapid expansion in the North Atlantic, where flights are shorter and potentially more conducive to the long-haul low-cost model.
(NWG) and Thomson Airways (ATZ)/(TFY) have removed the emergency locator transmitters (ELTs) from their 787s pending the outcome of an investigation into the Ethiopian Airlines (ETH) 787 fire at London Heathrow Airport.
During the previous week starting July 15th, the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) recommended that the Honeywell (SGC) (ELT) on all in-service 787s should be temporarily made “inert” following the July 12 incident. Since then, the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) outlined plans to have the devices removed, while the (FAA) stated it will perform mandatory inspections.
Thomson Airways (ATZ)/(TFY), which operates three 787s, has already acted on the (AAIB) recommendation. “We have ensured that all fixed (ELT)s have been removed from our 787s as instructed by the (AAIB) and we await the outcome of their full investigation.”
(ATZ)/(TFY) has eight 787s on order and is the UK launch customer for the type. “We would never operate an airplane unless we were 100% confident in its safety,” the spokesman added.
Likewise (NWG), which is operating a single 787, said it remained confident about the 787’s safety credentials. “We have currently not received any specific instructions [from (EASA)], but we have contacted the (CAA) and asked for permission to disable the (ELT). This was conducted over the weekend. Two back up (ELT)s are currently installed,” said a (NWG) spokeswoman.
There are currently four registered European 787 operators (British Airways (BAB), (LOT) Polish Airlines, (NWG) and (ATZ)/(TFY).
737-8JP (39022, LN-NGK), (DY6) Leasing leased.
August 2013: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) launches 787 long-haul services from Stockholm Arlanda to New York (JFK) and Bangkok on August 15. The first Norwegian 787 arrival at Arlanda will take place Sunday August 11th on a flight from Oslo.
(NWG) is in discussions with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) to obtain a permanent Irish air operator’s certificate (AOC) for its new long-haul division. (NWG) already holds a temporary (AOC) from the (IAA). (NWG), which is launching 787 long-haul services to New York and Bangkok this weekend, is employing Thai cabin crews on the Bangkok sector. It wants to fly from Bangkok to Oslo, have crews overnight in the Norwegian capital, and continue on to New York.
(NWG) began long-haul services in June using two leased A340-300s from Portuguese leasing specialist Hi Fly (LXA) to cover for the late arrival of the 787s following the 787’s global grounding related to lithium ion battery issues.
(NWG), which has eight 787s on order through lease agreements and direct deliveries, took delivery of its first leased 787 in June. (NWG) has been operating the new 787 on inter-European routes to build up crew experience. Three 787s will be delivered in 2013, four in 2014 and one in 2015.
(NWG) announced it set a new monthly record in July when it carried 2.13 million passengers, a +17% increase year-over-year. July’s load factor was 86% LF, -1% lower than the year-ago period.
See video - - "VISIT NORWAY" - -
September 2013: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) is expanding its long-haul network with the addition of 787 services to Los Angeles, Oakland-San Francisco and Orlando, plus a new Copenhagen - New York route, from spring 2014.
(NWG) launched long-haul operations in May and serves Bangkok and New York (JFK) from Oslo and Stockholm Arlanda. It has already detailed plans to add Fort Lauderdale, Florida from Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm in November. “So far, the response to our New York, Bangkok and Fort Lauderdale routes has been tremendous. Most of our flights have been fully booked over the summer. Our offer has not only been well received by Scandinavian passengers traveling to the USA or Asia, but also Asians and Americans going to Scandinavia and beyond,” Norwegian (CEO), Bjørn Kjos said.
Building on this development, (NWG) has unveiled 2014 plans to add a weekly Oslo - Los Angeles link on June 1, 3X-weekly, Oslo - San Francisco flights from May 28, and Oslo - Orlando 2X-weekly from May 29.
From Stockholm, it will offer Los Angeles 2X-weekly from March 2, which will be joined by 2X-weekly Stockholm - San Francisco flights from May 3. Finally, it will launch 2X-weekly, Los Angeles and New York from Copenhagen, starting on March 1 and February 28, respectively. “No other airlines offer nonstop flights from Oslo to Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlando; from Stockholm to Los Angeles and San Francisco or from Copenhagen to Los Angeles,” (NWG) said.
Norwegian (NWG) has started flights from London Gatwick (LGW) to Lanzarote (ACE) in the Canary Islands. (NWG) inaugurated the new 2,708 km service on September 2nd and operates the twice-weekly schedule using 737-800s on Mondays and Fridays. (NWG) competes with five other carriers (Monarch (MON) 7x, easyJet (EZY) 4x, Thomson Airways (ATZ)/(GUE) 4x, British Airways (BAB) 2x, and Thomas Cook (JMA)/(ATY) 1x) on the route which is its 25th service out of Gatwick.
(NWG) has continued to grow its presence at its London Gatwick (LGW) hub, with the addition of services to Tenerife Sur (TFS) and Rome Fiumicino (FCO), becoming destinations 24 and 25 since it began its new hub there earlier this year. The four times weekly, 737-800 operation to the Canary Islands hot-spot was started on September 5th, with the link to the "Eternal City" inaugurated the following day, at the same weekly frequency. Competition will be intense on the Tenerife Sue route, with a total of 29 weekly flights already being flown by five airlines: — namely British Airways (BAB) (five per week), easyJet (EZY) (eight), Monarch Airlines (MON) (seven), Thomas Cook Airlines (JMA)/(GUE) (three) and Thomson Airways (ATZ)/(TFY) (six). The battle for market share to the Italian capital will be even fiercer, with incumbents (BAB) (14) and (EZY) (26) offering multiple daily services by comparison to the pan-Scandinavian low cost carrier (LCC) (NWG).
The second Norwegian (NWG) 787 entered service late after encountering a braking system glitch.
(NWG) has confirmed plans to open a base in the USA to coincide with the arrival of its 3rd 787 in October.
(NWG) has suffered another technical fault with one of its 787 Dreamliners, the latest in a series of glitches to hit the new carbon-fibre jet. “We had a technical problem with a hydraulic pump, resulting in a weight limitation and unfortunately we had to leave 70 passengers behind in New York on Sunday,” (NWG) spokesman Lasse Sander-Nilsen said. “We have not done the math yet, but we expect that Boeing (TBC) will take their share of responsibility,” he added.
(NWG) had to briefly ground both of its 787 Dreamliners earlier this month due to various technical faults, including brake and power issues. The 787 was expected to be a game-changer for the aviation industry as its use of lighter materials and new engines promised 20% savings in fuel consumption. But the program has been troubled by more than >3 years of delays in getting the planes into service and several problems since then, including the temporary grounding of all planes because of overheating batteries.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has confirmed reports it has summoned Boeing management representatives to Oslo later this week to address reliability issues that have dogged (NWA)’s two new 787 Dreamliners.
(NWG) said a number of teething problems had forced it to ground the new 787s, the first of which was delivered in late June, several times over recent weeks, causing unacceptable disruption and delay for passengers. A (NWG) spokesperson confirmed these problems included brakes, hydraulic pump and power issues. Further problems last weekend (understood to have involved oxygen supply to the cockpit and a valve problem) have prompted (NWG) to call the meeting later this week.
(NWG) Senior VP Corporate Communications, Anne-Sissel Skånvik said: “We will tell Boeing (TBC) that this situation is far from good enough. We have not had the reliability that we had expected from brand new planes, so something must happen, fast. Our expectation is that their strict quality control systems rule out ‘snag’ and technical issues before delivery to the customer.”
Boeing (TBC) responded: “Boeing is working with Norwegian (NWG) to address issues. We are disappointed to have issues so early in our 787 operations. We regret the disruption caused to Norwegian and its passengers. We are committed to improving the 787’s in-service dispatch reliability and are applying the resources required to achieve the results that we and our customers expect. We have a significant focus on component reliability improvements and are working airline-by-airline to ensure we have the right support in place to help each airline through the entry-into-service (EIS) process.”
Boeing also said its 787 fleet is averaging about 175 revenue flights per day, has flown more than >12,000 revenue flights since return to service in April, and more than >30,000 revenue flights since the 787 entered service.
(NWG) has ordered eight 787 Dreamliners, the third of which is due to be delivered in 2013, with a further four in 2014 and one in 2015.
Boeing (TBC) has agreed to base a team of 787 Dreamliner technicians in Oslo following a troubleshooting meeting with (NWG). (TBC) also said it will set up more spare parts centers to address any further problems that might arise.
The Boeing (TBC) team, which included Commercial Airplanes (BCA) President & (CEO), Ray Conner, was summoned to the Norwegian capital by (NWG) to discuss reliability issues that have overshadowed the entry into service (EIS) of (NWG)’s first two of eight new 787s.
(NWG) (CEO), Bjørn Kjos told reporters: “It was a positive discussion. They agreed to put up spare part stocks at designations we fly to and they’ll send a dedicated team of experts to (NWG) so if there’s a problem popping up, they can immediately solve it.”
A Boeing spokesman said: “How the 787 performs in service for our customers is paramount for the entire Boeing team. Any impact to our customers’ operations is not satisfactory. Our focus is working in partnership with (NWG) to address the 787 issues it is experiencing.”
Although compensation was not discussed at the meeting, Kjos indicated the issue is not closed. “Most important is to have the airplanes running before we know the cost, that’s at a later stage,” he said.
(NWG) has had to ground the new 787s, the first of which was delivered in late June, several times over recent weeks, causing unacceptable disruption and delay for passengers. One of the two 787s was again grounded by a hydraulic pump failure in Bangkok, according to a "Reuters" report.
(NWG) is taking one of its brand new 787 Dreamliners out of long-haul service and demanding that Boeing (TBC) repair the plane after it suffered repeated breakdowns. Boeing said the repairs would take “a matter of days.”
(NWG) will instead lease an A340-300 from HiFly (LXA) to keep its long-haul business going. “The 787’s reliability is simply not acceptable, our passengers cannot live with this kind of performance,” spokesman Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen told "Reuters." “We are taking it out of long-haul service.”
The 787 Dreamliner was expected to be a game-changer for the aviation industry, but there have been delays getting it into service and setbacks including the grounding of all the planes due to battery problems.
The 787 concerned is in Bangkok after a hydraulic pump failure this week and will be flown back to Stockholm. “In consultation with Norwegian, the decision has been made to implement a number of enhancements to improve the airplane’s in-service reliability following its return to Stockholm,” Boeing said. “As a result, it is expected the airplane will be out of service for a matter of days.”
Norwegian launched long-haul operations this year and hoped to capitalize on the 787 Dreamliner’s lower operating cost as the jet’s lighter-weight engines promised a -20% savings on fuel.
But its first two 787 Dreamliners, part of a planned fleet of eight, broke down over half a dozen times in September, forcing it to lease back-up planes on short notice or cancel flights.
October 2013: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has used the start of the winter season to begin another four routes, with all of them originating in the Canary Islands using 737-800s. The majority of routes touch Germany, with Hamburg (HAM) benefitting from two and Cologne Bonn (CGN) from one new service. The last of the four connects the Atlantic Ocean hot-spots to Trondheim (TRD) in Norway. Special mention to Cologne Bonn Airport, as it will benefit from four new routes from (NWG) in the coming weeks, building upon Norwegian (NWG)’s existing thrice-weekly service from Oslo to the German airport:
Tenerife Sur (TFS) to Hamburg (HAM) 2x weekly vs airberlin (BER) 1x weekly, Condor (CDF) 3x weekly, and TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) 1x weekly; to Trondheim (TRD) 1x weekly;
Gran Canaria (LPA) to (HAM) 2x weekly, vs (BER) 3x weekly, (CDF) 3x weekly, & Germania (GER) 1x weekly; to Cologne-Bonn (CGN) 2x weekly vs (BER) 3x weekly, (CDF) 3x weekly, and (GER) 1x weekly.
Gran Canaria (LPA) to
(NWG) said the 787 disruption costs had hit its third quarter profit, but it stated it may still order more. (NWG) has reported a third-quarter, pre-tax profit of +NOK604 million, down from +NOK873 million/+$102.3 million in the previous period.
Nevertheless, (NWG) continues to build for the future and announced its first UK - USA trans-Atlantic routes on October 17, 2013.
In July 2014, (NWG) will launch three long-haul routes from London Gatwick to Los Angeles, New York and Fort Lauderdale, in addition to the trans-Atlantic routes operated from its Scandinavian bases. (NWG) is already using 787-8s on its Bangkok service.
This will be the first modern attempt to introduce the successful Asian long-haul (LCC) model to the North Atlantic from the UK, a concept that Ryanair (RYR)'s Michael O'Leary has often floated in the past. Earlier this month, Qantas (QAN) subsidiary, Jetstar (IMU) took delivery of the first of a fleet of 787-8s that it will be using on long-haul routes in Asia. (SIA) subsidiary, Scoot (SCT) will receive 787-8/9s from late 2014 and AirAsia X (ASX) will use A350-900s from 2018.
(NWG) begins weekly, Stockholm - Arrecife on December 13. It will also increase from 2x- to 3x-weekly, Gotenburg - Las Palmas on December 11.
(NWG) will launch long-haul operations between the UK and the USA next summer. It will operate services between London Gatwick and three USA destinations:— New York (JFK) (3x-weekly) from July 3rd, Los Angeles (twice-weekly) from July 2nd, and Fort Lauderdale (twice-weekly) from July 4th.
(NWG) said it is adding Gatwick to its intercontinental route network following the success of new European routes launched from the airport earlier this year. (NWG) (CEO), Bjørn Kjos said: “There’s great demand for high-quality flights at a low fare between the UK and the USA, particularly to and from London Gatwick, where no other airline currently offers these routes. Launching long-haul routes between London Gatwick and the USA is also an important part of our strategy to expand internationally and get a stronger foothold in markets outside Scandinavia.”
(NWG) is also planning to add five new European routes from Gatwick next summer. It will operate weekly fights to Santorini, Corfu from April 5th, Sicily (Catania) from April 5th, and Cyprus from April 5th, plus three flights a week to Budapest from March 30th. It will also increase frequency on services to Malaga, Ibiza, Split, Dubrovnik, Majorca, Faro, Tenerife, Copenhagen, and Barcelona.
(NWG) has applied for a new air operator’s certificate (AOC), but declined to give details about the reason. “We’ve applied for a new (AOC) and what that entails, we’ll have to get back to you,” airline spokesman Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen said. A spokesman for the Norwegian civil aviation authoriy, Bjørn Erlandsen, confirmed the application, but was unable to give specifics of (NWG)’s action, citing confidentiality restrictions applying to operational or business conditions within an application.
Reports in the Norwegian press have claimed the intention is to set up a new, ultra-low-cost carrier (LCC) to combat the increasing activities of other (LCC)s, notably Ryanair (RYR), in its home markets.
(NWG) has signed an agreement with Scandinavian Avionics to equip its Boeing 737 fleet with new tablet-based electronic flight bag (EFB) systems.
November 2013: Norwegian (NWG) continues to build up its presence in Spain with as many as 14 out of a total of 17 routes launched this month touching the southern European country. Tenerife Sur (TFS) welcomed five new links to northern Europe, Alicante (ALC) – four, Malaga (AGP) – three, while Fuerteventura (FUE) and Gran Canaria (LPA) saw one new route each commence. As follows:
Alicante (ALC) to Turku (TKU) weekly; to Munich (MUC) 2x weekly vs airBerlin (BER) weekly; to Hamburg (HAM) 3x weekly vs (BER) 3x weekly; to Cologne Bonn (CGN) 2x weekly; London Gatwick (LGW) to Fuerteventura (FUE) 2x weekly vs easyJet (EZY) 5x weekly, Thomson Airways (ATZ)/(TFY) 3x weekly, & Thomas Cook Airlines (JMA)/(GUE) 2x weekly; Malaga (AGP) to (CGN) 3x weekly vs (Ryanair (RYR) 2x weekly, & (BER) weekly; to Hamburg (HAM) 3x weekly vs (BER) 4x weekly and Vueling (VUZ) 2x weekly; to (MUC) 2x weekly vs (BER) 2x weekly, VUZ) 2x weekly and Lufthansa (DLH) weekly; Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) to Agadir (AGA) weekly; Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) to Kiruna (KRN) 6x weekly vs (SAS) 18x weekly; to (AGA) weekly; Tenerife Sur (TFS) to (CGN) 2x weekly vs (BER) 3x weekly, germanwings (RFG) 2x weekly, (RYR) 2x weekly, and TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX); to (MUC) 2x weekly vs Condor (CDF) 3x weekly, (HAP)/(HLX) 3x weekly; and (BER) weekly; to Bergen (BGO) weekly; to Oslo Rygge (RYG) weekly vs (RYR) 2x weekly; to Oulu (OUL) weekly; Gran Canaria (LPA)to (CGN) 2x weekly vs (BER) 3x weekly, (RFG) 3x weekly and (HAP)/(HLX) 3x weekly.
(NWG) will open a new base of operations in Madrid in summer 2014, its fifth Spanish base. It will deploy two 737-800s from Madrid Barajas, from where it will launch six new routes to Oslo (3X-weekly), Stockholm Arlanda (4X-weekly), Helsinki (3X-weekly), Hamburg (4X-weekly), Warsaw (2X-weekly) and London Gatwick (daily). Flights between Madrid and Copenhagen will increase from 3x- to 4x-weekly from April to June. From July, (NWG) will operate daily flights.
In addition, it will recruit 70 pilots (FC) and 140 cabin crew (CA) locally. (NWG) has established other Spanish bases in Alicante, Malaga, Las Palmas and Tenerife.
(CEO), Björn Kjos said the new base in Madrid will “meet the demand for direct flights between Madrid and important cities in Europe. It is strategically important for (NWG) to have a base in the Spanish capital in light of our presence in the Spanish market and not least, in term of our future plans.”
(NWG) begins Berlin Schönefeld - Gran Canaria and Tenerife (February 1 and 2, 2014). Increased flights to the UK include 3x-weekly Malaga - London (LGW) and 4x-weekly Tenerife - London (LGW). Daily flights are offered Malaga - London (LGW) from February 14 and Tenerife - London (LGW) from January 31. Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) also begins 3X-weekly, London (LGW) - Budapest 737 service on March 30.
INCDT: According to Flightglobal's David Kaminski-Morrow, a Norwegian (NWG) near-stall is to spur a 737 modification:
Boeing (TBC) is to modify 737s to improve protection against potential freezing of elevator systems, after investigation into a near-stall by a (NWG) airplane highlighted the risk of de-icing fluid contaminating power control units for the horizontal stabilizer.
The investigation into the 737-800 incident, on approach to Kittila in Finland, has already resulted in Boeing (TBC) changing de-icing procedures on the type. Under the new procedures, the trim is set to take-off position, rather than fully-forward, and de-icing fluid is applied at an angle, not directly from the side.
While the cause of the incident is still being explored, the Norwegian investigation authority (SHT) demonstrated that de-icing fluid was capable of entering the tail cone in “quite considerable” amounts. “Under certain circumstances, it is possible that the input arms [to the power control units] may be exposed to fluid which in turn freezes solid and blocks [them],” said the (SHT), adding that Boeing (TBC) was “not aware” of this potential problem before the investigation.
Examination of Norwegian (NWG)’s fleet revealed that there had been similar fluid ingress into other 737-800, as well as 737-300s.
Boeing (TBC) has also simulated a comparable restriction of the power control unit arms, by de-icing fluid, in a cold-chamber rig.
The airplane (LN-DYM) involved in the Kittila incident had been delivered new to the carrier in 2011. It had been de-iced before the flight from Helsinki, on December 26th last year, in temperatures of minus -17C.
At a height of 3,250 ft during approach to Kittila runway 34 (with its autothrust and autopilot engaged) the airplane began to pitch up in line with a nose-up trim actuation. To counter the resulting loss of airspeed, the autothrust commanded full power, but this led the pitch to increase and the airspeed to bleed away rapidly.
Analysis shows that both the primary and secondary input arms on the right-hand power control unit were blocked when the autopilot “unintentionally” elevated the nose of the airplane, said the (SHT).
When the 737 reached 20° nose-up the pilots (FC) began pushing with “full force” on their control columns, it stated. Flight-data recorder information shows they applied a combined 920N/207 lb of force in a bid to stop the jet climbing.
The pitch increased to 38.5° and airspeed fell to 118kt (activating the stick-shaker and generating a stall warning). Although this was below the 121kt stall threshold, lower wing loading meant a stall was averted.
The (SHT) said the pilots (FC)’s efforts managed to bring the nose down. But it notes that, during the initial ascent, there was “no attempt” to disengage the autopilot, autothrust or manually adjust the stabilizer trim to nose-down. “One or more of these measures would have improved the situation,” it says, and also suggests that the control column force should have disengaged the autopilot automatically.
The airplane subsequently landed safely after a 30 minutes hold for the crew (FC) to conduct a systems check.
Examination of the power control units found traces of dried de-icing fluid, although the units passed all function tests and met specifications. There was no indication of internal component abnormalities.
The (SHT) said it is looking into error codes, regarding automatic Mach trim, from one of the two flight control computers of the airplane (although it points out that the other computer had been engaged during the approach, and passed all function tests).
Boeing (TBC) has informed the investigators that it plans to modify all 737 to achieve “better protection” against the risk of the elevator system “freezing solid”, said the (SHT). The authority said it plans to release a related safety recommendation, but stresses that it has yet to reach conclusions about the incident.
December 2013: Norwegian Long Haul ((IATA) Code: DU, (ICAO) Code: NLH, based at Oslo Gardermoen) (NWG) (website: http://www.noregian.com) has hit back at a coalition of American interests that collectively objected to its application to the USA Department of Transportation for an exemption and a foreign air carrier permit under the (EU) - (USA) "Open Skies" treaty. In a statement issued to foreigner.no, (NWG)labelled claims by the Air Line Pilots’ Association (ALPA), the Transportation Trades Department (AFL)-(CIO) (TTD) union, as well as United Airlines (UAL), American Airlines (AAL), and Delta Air Lines (DAL), that its plans to acquire an Irish Air Operators Certificate (AOC) for the sole purpose of circumventing strict Norwegian labor laws, as false and misleading. The Americans had claimed that by using a Flag of Convenience to dramatically lower labor costs, (NWG) would be undercutting USA carriers and their employees that serve those same markets, by as much as 50%. (NWG) refuted these claims stating that “(ALPA) and several USA competitors’ recent allegations made about Norwegian (NWG) are false and misleading. (NWG) offers low fares, industry-leading service, and point-to-point routes between the USA and Europe. This has not been well received by competitors who have dominated the market with expensive fares for decades.” (ALPA) had also claimed that (NWG)'s flight crew (FC)s will work under individual employment contracts that are governed by Singapore law and that have wages and working conditions substantially inferior to those of (NWG)'s Norway-based pilots (FC)." (NWG) refuted this noting that it "always follows the rules and regulations in all markets they operate in while simultaneously "offering competitive wages and conditions to all crew, regardless of crew base.” Summing up its defence, (NWG) said: "The trans-Atlantic market has always been dominated by strong airline alliances that advocate expensive fares. (NWG) adapts to the market opportunities offered by the "Open Skies" Agreement.”
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has signed a seven-year partnership with London Gatwick, which will enable (NWG) to grow at the airport. (NWG) plans to open several new European and transatlantic routes from the airport in 2014, and the partnership will enable much closer collaboration between the two parties on route development and marketing.
The commercial agreement comes on the heels of the Civil Aviation Authority’s (CAA) proposed endorsement of Gatwick’s approach to create commercial arrangements with its airlines. Gatwick’s commitments framework reduces the regulatory burden for both parties, while at the same time allowing the airport to tailor services and charges for airlines in return for growth commitments.
London Gatwick (CEO), Stewart Wingate said: “This partnership with Norwegian (NWG) is a landmark in London Gatwick’s history. Four years after the end of the (BAA) monopoly at Gatwick, this deal marks the start of a new era for passengers bringing more competition to the aviation market. This partnership deal also shows the shared vision and commitment both (NWG) and Gatwick have for London and the South East (which is the largest, most exciting and vibrant travel market in the world). That commitment extends to (NWG)’s support for Gatwick’s need to build an additional runway by the mid-2020s.”
(NWG) moved from Stansted to Gatwick in 2009 and now has four airplanes based there, with a further two planned for summer 2014. One of the fastest-growing airlines at the airport, it will rank among Gatwick’s top four airlines when it implements its 2014 expansion plans.
(NWG) will open a base at Barcelona El Prat Airport in spring 2014, and plans to use it as a new hub for long-haul operations.
Norwegian (NWG), the third largest low cost carrier (LCC) in Europe, commenced three services to Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL), its second destination in the USA. (NWG) is now operating a total of five routes to the USA market, with the longest sector being the new 7,976 km service from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN). All three new services (from Copenhagen (CPH), Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) and Stockholm Arlanda (ARN)) are operated twice-weekly, utilising 291-seat 787-800s of (NWG)’s long-haul subsidiary, and faces no direct competition from other carriers.
In the last 12 months, (NWG) has carried more than >20 million passengers (at an average load factor of 78.2% LF), firmly establishing it as Europe’s third largest (LCC). In recent weeks, as described above, (NWG) has announced expansion plans at a number of Spanish airports (Barcelona and Madrid), while long-haul operations to its second USA destination (Fort Lauderdale) have begun.
With the majority of next summer’s seat capacity now on sale, (NWG)'s 2014 operations compare with those of this year's summer operations. Of the airline’s top 12 airports (by weekly departures), 11 will see more flights next summer, with only Bergen seeing its operations unchanged (in terms of total flights). (NWG)’s three main Scandinavian hubs all see growth of around +7%, while London Gatwick is now in a clear fourth position, and will see a +40% increase in flights (and a +85% increase in (ASK)s thanks to the launch of transatlantic flights). (NWG)’s three biggest Spanish airports (Alicante, Barcelona and Malaga) are all set for double-digit growth next summer. SEE ATTACHED - - "NWG-2013-12 - TOP 12 AIRPORTS IN 2014."
Across (NWG)’s network, the number of weekly flights is expected to grow by around +12%, but the growth in long-haul operations means that Available Seat Kilometers (ASK)s are set to grow by +31%.
London Gatwick and Oslo will see the biggest increase in number of flights. Making an analysis of which airports will see the largest increase in weekly departures (in absolute rather than percentage terms), reveals that London Gatwick and Oslo lead the way with 58 and 48 more weekly departures, respectively. Of the 12 fastest-growing airports, four are in Scandinavia, six are in Spain, with the UK and Germany each represented by one airport - - SEE ATTACHED - - "NWG-2013-12 - FASTEST GROWING AIRPORTS."
Hamburg, which will become an easyJet (EZY) base next summer, will see the number of weekly flights increase from three to 23, with the addition of six new routes to Spain; Alicante, Barcelona, Gran Canaria, Madrid, Malaga and Tenerife Sur.
50 new routes and eight ‘new’ airports will be added to the network.
Comparing schedule data for July 2014 with July 2013 reveals that eight airports will have Norwegian (NWG) flights next summer, that did not have any this July. Four of these are in the USA (Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, Oakland and Orlando), one in Sweden (Kiruna), one in Finland (Turku) and two in Spain (Lanzarote and Tenerife Sur), though both of these Spanish airports have been served by (NWG) during previous winter seasons. In fact, Kiruna and Turku have also been served in the past, making the four USA destinations the only ones to welcome their first ever (NWG) flights next summer.
In total, around 50 routes will be operating next summer for the first time, with London Gatwick routes to Madrid and Tenerife Sur having the highest frequencies, with both routes operated daily. Of the 50 routes, 13 are transatlantic services from Scandinavia and the UK, while the shortest new route is the 925 km service between Stockholm Arlanda and Kiruna, which will operate six times weekly.
Nine routes are no longer served, and all Liverpool flights are to end. Detailed analysis of schedule data currently available indicates that there are nine routes that (NWG) will not be operating next summer, that were operating this summer. These are summarized as follows:
Harstad/Narvik - Oslo Torp, 3x weekly, 1,083 km;
Copenhagen - Bratislava, 2x weekly, 885 km;
Copenhagen - Milan Malpensa, 5x weekly, 1,143 km, vs (EZY) 14x weekly & (SAS) 14x weekly;
Bergen - Kristiansand, 3x weekly, vs Wideroe 35x weekly;
Copenhagen - Belgrade, weekly 1,318 km, vs Air Serbia (JAT) 7x weekly;
Bergen - Alesund, 2x weekly, vs (SAS) 16 x weekly;
Oslo - Aalborg, 6x weekly, vs (BAB) 15x weekly & (SAS) 3x weekly;
Oslo - Cologne Bonn, 3x weekly;
Copenhagen - Liverpool, 2x weekly.
The demise of the Copenhagen - Liverpool service at the end of March, will mean that Liverpool becomes the only airport to lose all of its (NWG) services. The route was launched in April 2013. On five of the nine routes, other carriers will continue to serve the markets. The Oslo to Cologne Bonn route was previously served by germanwings (RFG) between 2004 and 2006, so this route may yet make a comeback. There is less reason to be optimistic about the future of the Copenhagen - Bratislava route. Prior to (NWG) serving the market, the route was operated by Bratislava-based Sky Europe (SKP) between 2005 and 2009.
(NWG) added two new routes to its offering both using its 186Y-seat 737-800s. With the longest sector being the 4,160 km seasonal service from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) to Lanzarote (ACE) launched on December 13th, and the shortest being inaugurated on December 10th from Gran Canaria (LPA) to Munich (MUC) at 3,256 km, both routes are served weekly (Fridays and Tuesdays, respectively). The service to Lanzarote will compete with TUIfly Nordic (TNS)’s twice-weekly flights, while the route to the third largest city in Germany will face extensive competition from airberlin (BER) (twice-weekly), Condor (CDF) (thrice-weekly) and TUIfly (HAP)/(HLX) (six times weekly). Norwegian (NWG)’s Munich route is set to increase to twice-weekly (Saturdays) from April 2014.
(NWG) has reached an agreement to begin supporting its line maintenance operations with iPad applications, Boeing (TBC) said on December 16.
Under the agreement, Norwegian (NWG) will implement (TBC)'s new suite of iPad-based mobile maintenance applications for its fleet of 737s. The iPads will be used by (NWG) Maintenance Technicians for their back-end maintenance planning system for real-time access to parts inventory listings, maintenance troubleshooting and operations decisions.
"Norwegian (NWG) clearly recognizes the value in efficiencies gained by putting real-time information in the hands of their maintenance crews at the airplane," said John Maggiore, Director Fleet & Maintenance Solutions at Boeing Digital Aviation.
Boeing (TBC) recently launched its mobile maintenance applications at the Maintenance Repair & Overhaul (MRO) Europe conference in London, based on extensive input from several airlines.
"Our maintenance technicians (MT)s are very excited to be able to use these new applications," said Espen Hartsang, lead mechanic at Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG). "This will make our jobs much easier. Now we will have real-time mobile access to all the information we need, so we can improve our maintenance turn times and keep our airplanes flying safely."
Norwegian Air International (NAI) will acquire two Boeing 787-9s (its first of the type) and is seeking to further expand its fleet with the 787-9 version to bolster new long-haul operations. The new airplanes are being acquired from new York-based lessor MG Aviation and are due to enter service in the first quarter of 2016.
(NAI) currently has three 787-8s in operation, with five more due to be delivered (four next year and one in 2015). The new 787-9s will take the fleet to 10.
A seat configuration has not yet been decided for the (NAI) airplane, but the 787-9 can typically carry around +20% more passengers than the 787-8 version.
The acquisition does not mean (NAI) is looking to switch all future orders to the larger variant, spokesman Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen said. With delivery positions for both versions heavily booked up, (NAI) had taken the opportunity to snap up the pair of 787-9s when they became available.
He said the eventual total size of the 787 fleet had not yet been decided: “We haven’t set a particular number. However, to be a global player, we need a fleet larger than the 10 we will now have. We’re also looking to acquire more 787-8s.”
(NAI) began long-haul operations earlier this year, flying to New York and Bangkok, with services to three further USA destinations to be introduced in 2014. (NAI) announced that its latest 787 sector will be a weekly seasonal route between Bergen and New York (JFK), from May 3 to September 27, 2014.
“We’re continuously expanding our route network,” Sandaker-Neilsen said. (NAI) has previously said it plans to start operating long-haul services out of its new bases at London Gatwick and Barcelona.
“In order to run a competitive long-haul operation, we are dependent on brand new, cost-efficient airplanes. I´m very satisfied to have secured our first two 787-9 Dreamliners,” (NAI)’s (CEO), Bjørn Kjos added.
Fast-expanding Norwegian (NAI) will launch a new flight from New York (JFK) to Bergen in Norway, with a launch fare of $178. (NAI) says it is the first time in the past 10 years that the route has been operated with a direct service. The seasonal service will be operated once a week from May 9 to September 27.
The launch fare is on sale now. (NAI) (CEO), Bjørn Kjos said (NWG) hoped Americans would take up the service. “New York - Bergen has been a long-awaited route and I’m very happy to announce that for the first time in decades, the USA and Bergen will get its first direct connection. (NAI)’s routes between Scandinavia and New York have been very well received, and I am looking forward to welcoming even more Americans on board our brand new 787 Dreamliners on our non-stop service to Bergen,” said Kjos.
January 2014: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) plans to launch weekly service, Stockholm - Heraklion on June 26. It increases frequencies from Stockholm to 3x-weekly: - Tel Aviv, on April 3, - Larnaca, on June 22, and Riga, on April 1.
Norwegian Air International (NAI) is about to open its first USA crew base (FC & CA), as it prepares to step up transatlantic flights. The first base in New York will open “soon,” while one in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, would be operational in the first quarter.
Around 170 cabin crew (CA) have been recruited in the two cities; (NAI) is also encouraging USA pilots (FC) to join its workforce.
(NAI) is expanding its fleet of Boeing 787s over the next few years and plans to expand its long-haul network to include 14 routes between Europe and the USA in 2014. It also plans to operate transatlantic flights from London Gatwick this year.
See video: Norwegian Fjords by Royal Norwegian Air Force:
February 2014: Annual profits at Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWGT) dipped last year, falling to +NOK318.7 million/+$52.3 million) compared to +NOK456.6 in the previous year.
Norwegian (NWG) has increased its network of services from its 2 Canary Islands bases with the addition of flights to Berlin Schönefeld (SXF). (NWG) has commenced 2x-weekly services (Thursdays and Saturdays) from Tenerife Sur (TFS) from February 1st, becoming its 15th destination from the island, and will be flown in direct competition with Condor (CDF) and easyJet (EZY) (both 2x-weekly). The low cost carrier (LCC) has added 2x-weekly services (Thursdays and Sundays) from Gran Canaria (LPA) from February 2nd, its 26th network point from Las Palmas, and will be flown in direct competition with Condor (CDF) (2x-weekly). In addition, airberlin (BER) provides indirect competition on the city pairs from Berlin Tegel, flying 6x-weekly to Gran Canaria, as well as 5x-weekly to Tenerife Sur. Both new (NWG) services are operated with its 186Y-seat 737-800s.
(NWG) began flights from Málaga (AGP) to Warsaw Chopin (WAW) on February 20th. (NWG) will fly the route 2x-weekly (Thursdays and Sunday) with its 737-800s under no direct competition. The service will increase to 3x-weekly from March 30th and the route was previously operated by Norwegian (nwg) up until August 2010.
(NWG) begins 3x-weekly, Stockholm - Vilnius service on May 8. It also increases Stockholm - Nice to 12x-weekly from June 23, and Stockholm - Ajaccio to 2x-weekly on June 25.
Flight attendants (CA) and pilots (FC) from the USA and Norway are joining forces in a bid to ensure that Norwegian Air International (NAI), the Irish-based, long-haul subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG), does not “bypass international labor laws” when it comes to recruiting crew.
Norwegian Air International (NAI), the long-haul division of Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG), has gained an air operator’s certificate (AOC) from Irish regulatory authorities. The move to apply for an Irish (AOC) (a country not served by (NAI)) has been criticized by trade unions, which have accused (NAI) of shopping around for “flag of convenience” status to avoid employing staff under Norway’s stringent social legislation. Norwegian (NAI) denies this.
(NAI) will base its managerial and mandatory regulatory functions in Dublin, with its growing long-haul fleet of Boeing 787s governed by Irish law. (NAI) said it had established its long-haul operation in Ireland for several reasons. “The main reason is access to future traffic rights to and from the European Union [EU]. Norwegian (NWG)/(NAI) has >260 airplanes on order and the route network will expand rapidly in the years to come.” Norway is not a European Union (EU) member-state.
“Another important reason for choosing Ireland, and not another country within the (EU) (though several other European countries (including the UK and Sweden) were considered), is because Ireland has decided to fully adopt the Cape Town Convention, which provides Norwegian (NAI) with better financing conditions. “Furthermore, (NAI)’s establishment in Ireland does not affect export guarantees in connection with our financing.”
(NAI) reiterated its argument that it had not chosen Ireland because the country had specific rules and regulations that allowed the use of American or Asian crew (FC & CA), as some politicians and unions had claimed. “The fact is that (NAI) could have based its long-haul company in any other European country and still use American and Asian crew, the way several other European airlines have been operating for years. The only exception is Norway and partly Denmark, who so far have opted to keep outdated special rules within this area.”
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has inked an accord with International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) (ILF) to lease four Boeing 787-9s for its long-haul subsidiary, Norwegian Air International (NAI).
(NAI) currently has 3 787-8s in its fleet with +5 more 787-8s on firm order. It has also 2 787-9s on order for delivery in the 2016 1st quarter. The 787-9s it will lease from (ILFC) will be delivered in 2017 and 2018. All told, (NAI) is now slated to have 14 787 Dreamliners in its fleet by the end of 2018. “In order to run a competitive long-haul operation, we are dependent on brand new, cost-efficient airplanes,” (NAI) (CEO) Bjørn Kjos said. “I’m very satisfied to have secured +4 787-9 Dreamliners.”
(NAI) has faced a series of glitches and teething troubles with its 787s, the 1st of which was delivered in June 2013, and Boeing (TBC) has dispatched maintenance personnel to help improve the efficiency of (NAI)'s 787-8s. (NAI) noted the 787-9 will seat up to +20% more passengers than the 787-8.
See video "Norwegian (NWG) 787-8 Dreamliner Intro" - -
March 2014: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG)/(NAI) has launched 2x-weekly Stockholm Arlanda - Los Angeles service increasing to 3x-weekly from April 30. (NWG)/(NAI) will also launch 2x-weekly Stockholm Arlanda - Oakland service from May 3. Both services will be operated with Boeing 787s.
April 2014: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) reported a net profit of +NOK322 million/+$54 million for the financial year ended December 31, 2013, down from +NOK457 million for the previous year.
It was the 7th consecutive year of profit for (NWG), but Managing Director & (CEO) Bjørn Kjos said (NWG) “had hoped to report better margins,” especially in view of a -8% reduction in unit cost. “Profit was set back by teething problems with our [Boeing 787] Dreamliner airplanes, while a warm and sunny Nordic summer reduced bookings in the important months of July and August,” Kjos said. “Similarly, profits were hampered by capacity investment and increased competitive pressure during the 2nd half of 2013.”
Passenger numbers for the year were up to 20.7 million from 17.7 the previous year, and operating revenue climbed to NOK15.6 billion from NOK12.9 billion year-over-year. Operating profit more than doubled, climbing to almost +NOK970 million from +NOK403 during the previous 12 months. Capacity (ASK)s were up to 34.3 million from just shy of 26 billion, and traffic (RPK)s were also up, to 26.9 billion from 20.4 billion for the previous financial year.
Airplane numbers increased from 68 at year-end 2012 to 85 at the end of 2013, and load factor reflected this increase in capacity, falling slightly from 78.5% LF in 2012 to 78.3% LF last year.
Kjos said there would “also be considerable capacity investment in 2014,” with (ASK)s expected to increase +40% during the current year, including long-haul (NAI) operations. Short-haul capacity increases will be largely achieved through the addition of further 737-800 airplanes to the fleet, and through increasing the average sector length.
By the end of 2014, (NWG) will have a fleet of 7 Boeing 787s, and will have retired all leased 737-300s and the oldest 737-800, “helping us both to reduce unit costs and reduce capacity growth in the seasonally slower months,” Kjos said.
Passenger demand and advance bookings were “satisfactory” for the first quarter of 2014 and (NWG) said it would continue to increase its competitive power “through continuous cost efficiency, and from introducing larger airplanes with a lower operating cost.” And, despite technical and operational issues related to the launch of long-haul operations, (NWG)’s long-haul aspirations had “developed according to plan,” (NWG) said. “Going forward, the company expects increased competitive pressure in the Nordic market place.”
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has warned it may shelve plans for its Irish-based international subsidiary, Norwegian Air International (NAI) and postpone orders for 20 Boeing 787s if USA approval for planned transatlantic operations is not granted.
May 2014: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has reported a 1st-quarter pre-tax loss of -NOK813 million/-$137 million, widened from a pre-tax loss of -NOK160.1 million reported for the same period last year.
(NWG) said that, despite strong growth in passenger numbers and a high load factor, the additional costs of wet-leasing replacement airplanes on long-haul routes, as well as a weaker Norwegian currency had adversely impacted results.
Total revenue for the 1st quarter was NOK3.55 billion, up +22% year-over-year, while the number of passengers carried, grew +24% to 4.9 million. (RPK)s were up +50% to 7.3 billion, and (ASK)s were up +48% to 9.4 billion. Load factor was also up one point to 77% LF, but yield was down -22%.
In addition, costs were up by a significant +53% to NOK4.2 billion from NOK2.7 billion during the year-ago period, with technical maintenance costs (+67%), general and administrative expenses (+62%), leasing costs (+60%), handling charges (+49%), aviation fuel (+48%), sales and distribution expenses (+46%), and airport and air traffic control (ATC) charges (44%) accounting for the greatest increases.
(NWG) (CEO) Bjørn Kjos said: “Traditionally, the 1st quarter is seasonally weak and in addition the figures have been significantly affected by a weak Norwegian currency against the dollar and the euro. Also, the wet-lease of airplanes has negatively impacted the quarterly result.” “Going forward,” he said, “the company expects increased competitive pressure in the Nordic market place, but (NWG) is becoming increasingly equipped to meet this competition.”
Norwegian (NWG)/(NAI) expanded its presence in the USA with 2 new routes, all of which are operated utilizing its 291-seat 787-8s. On May 2nd, (NAI) inaugurated the 5,618 km sector from New York (JFK) to Bergen (BGO) that will be served weekly (Fridays). On May 3rd, (NAI) launched 2x-weekly flights (Tuesdays and Saturdays) on the 8,608 km route from Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) to Oakland, California (OAK). No other carrier serves these 2 airport pairs.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) will begin 6x-weekly, London Gatwick - Warsaw service and London Gatwick (LGW) - Berlin Schonefeld (SFX) from September 15. Norwegian (NWG) set up a base at Gatwick a year ago and is claiming a market share of 10% from the airport. It says the new services are the result of a "positive response" from UK passengers.
(NWG) announced it has signed agreements to lease 3 new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners for its long-haul operations. 2 of the airplanes will be delivered in 2016 and the 3rd in 2017.
(NWG) currently has a fleet of 5 787-8s, with another 3 on order, and 6 787-9s on order. By 2018, (NWG) will have 17 787s in its long-haul fleet. (NWG) is spearheading a business model that is it putting it at odds with regulators and its own unions. (NWG) warned previously that it would shelve plans to base its new international subsidiary, Norwegian Air International (NAI) in Ireland if approval to launch services from Gatwick to the USA is not forthcoming. The services are anticipated to launch in early July.
In addition, negotiations between (NWG)’s cabin subsidiary, Cabin Services Norway (CSN) and the Norwegian Cabin Union/Parat have broken down without resolution and a strike now threatens.
Norway-based English language news service "The Local" reported that Norwegian (NWG) has threatened to retaliate if the strike goes ahead by closing 3 of (NWG)’s 4 (CA) crew bases in Norway, forcing all (CA) crew to relocate to Oslo, transferring Copenhagen cabin crew to an agency, and suspending cheap tickets for staff family members for 3 years. Kjos said, “Our goal has always been to avoid a strike and we have gone to great lengths to accommodate the Cabin Union. However, (NWG) cannot accept demands that involve reversing strategic decisions taken by (NWG)’s board in order to secure the company’s future.”
UK and Norwegian air navigation service providers (ANSP)s (NATS) and Avinor, have signed a deal for a single common Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) system as part of the Borealis Alliance of (ANSP)s. A 1st for Europe, (NATS) and Avinor will share a single platform to provide vital airspace and procedural information to airlines and airports.
Designed by Indra subsidiary Avitech, the system will allow both organizations to make significant cost savings, according to (NATS). In addition, other (ANSP)s will be able to easily join or adopt the technology, offering significant potential economies of scale across Europe in support of the "Single European Sky."
The system will be remotely hosted with access via a System Wide Information Management (SWIM) compliant secure web portal. It will provide a common set of tools, applications and workflows supporting all of the core (AIS) functions.
(NATS) Head of Information, Andrew Sage said: “Our joint procurement has already saved both Avinor and (NATS), as members of the Borealis Alliance, considerable resource and capital investment. It clearly signals the desire for (ANSP)s to collaborate as partners (motivated by business drivers) and achieve the aims of the European Single Sky.”
He said the solution had been specifically selected because it could be expanded to meet the needs of other service providers as co-investors or customers. “We therefore welcome other (ANSP)s (from both within the Borealis Alliance and beyond) to join with us and benefit from this low-risk, low-cost route towards achieving compliance with aeronautical data and information quality (ADQ) regulations and deliver further economies of scale across Europe,” Sage said.
Avinor Head of Technical & Aeronautical Information Management, Torunn Carlsson said the project would enable further cross-border cooperation. “By working together with (NATS) in this procurement with Avitech, and by welcoming other (ANSP)s to use the same solution in a partnership approach, our intention is to ensure stable and robust (AIM)-services for many years to come,” Carlsson said.
June 2014: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has opened a new base in Madrid, (NWG)’s 6th in Spain. (NWG) also has bases in Barcelona, Alicante, Malaga, Las Palmas, and Tenerife, as well as in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the UK, the USA, and Thailand.
2 737-800 airplanes will be based in Madrid and around 75 pilots (FC) and cabin crew (CA) have been recruited to the base.
(NWG) (CEO) Bjørn Kjos said: “There is a great demand for direct flights between the Spanish capital and major cities in Europe.”
This week also marks a year since Norwegian (NWG) began operating services between Scandinavia and the USA. Introducing its Boeing 787 Dreamliners on routes to New York, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, the airline has carried 200,000 passengers to the USA over the past year.
And as it continues to lobby for USA approval for its new Dublin-based subsidiary, Norwegian Air International (NAI) to launch services to the USA, the airline has again hit back at “competitors and the unions” for using what it describes as “foul play trying to stop Norwegian (NWG)/(NAI).”
(NWG) believes flights between the USA and Europe “have traditionally been way too expensive” and that “competition on intercontinental flights is long overdue.” So in May 2013, it launched transatlantic 787 Dreamliner flights starting at $99 one way.
However, (NWG) accuses the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA), other labor unions and several USA carriers of making “a number of false and misleading allegations” about Norwegian in the media, to the USA Department of Transportation and members of Congress in “a frantic attempt at blocking competition.”
Norwegian said it “always follows the rules and regulations in all the markets we operate, offering competitive wages and conditions.” It employs >300 American cabin crew (CA) in Fort Lauderdale and New York, and is recruiting New York-based pilots (FC) for its 787 operation.
(NWG) also said it is fully compliant with European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) safety standards (EASA), is wholly privately owned, and “has never received any government subsidies.” It also said it is not hostile to unions and “meets all the legal and regulatory requirements in the "open skies" agreement between the USA and the (EU).”
“The legacy carriers did everything in their power to stop low-cost carriers (LCC)s like Southwest Airlines (SWA) to enter the domestic skies. Now history is repeating itself as an airline from Norway is taking on the big guys in order to offer everyone affordable flights across the Atlantic. If the authorities listen to the legacy carriers and the unions, the losers will be customers who will be left with no other option than airlines that offer astronomic fares and poor in-flight service. The American people deserve to have a choice.”
Later, however, the USA House of Representatives adopted an amendment that could potentially de-rail Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) bid to launch services between London Gatwick (LGW) Airport and the USA in July.
The amendment, proposed by Congressmen, Peter DeFazio and Lynn Westmoreland, would prohibit the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) from using funds included in the Transportation, Housing & Urban Development Appropriations Act to approve a new foreign air carrier permit application, unless it complies with protections included in the (USA) - (EU) "open skies" agreement.
DeFazio said the amendment would “help protect American jobs from unfair competition by (NAI) (which plans to register its airplanes in Ireland, a country with less stringent labor laws and regulations) and outsource pilots (FC) and cabin crew (CA) to countries with a cheaper, less experienced workforce, which will undermine safety.”
DeFazio said (NAI)’s operating model directly violates the (USA) - (EU) "open skies" agreement, and would allow the airline to “drastically undercut USA carriers, who are following USA regulations,” threatening the “competitive balance of the transatlantic aviation marketplace.”
(NAI)'s parent company, Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) denied the claims and said a decision on its application is “long overdue.” (NWG) said: “Norwegian meets all the legal and regulatory requirements in the "open skies" agreement between the USA and the (EU). The amendment is anti-competitive and favors entrenched airline monopolies and political interests above the needs of consumers and the USA economy. We remain confident that the (DOT) will approve our application. We also believe the department will put the needs of American workers and consumers above the narrow agenda of monopolistic airlines and unions, that have produced a series of false and misleading statements about Norwegian.”
The (DOT) has final authority over whether to approve (NAI)’s application, but Ed Wytkind, President of the Transportation Trades Department within the (AFL)-(CIO), argued: “Saying yes to (NAI) will open the floodgates to a Wal-Mart-style race to the bottom in the global airline industry, ultimately jeopardizing tens of thousands of middle-class jobs while again failing to enforce and properly implement trade agreements. Rejecting Norwegian Air’s gambit will send a clear message that the USA has zero tolerance for operating schemes that violate trade agreements, sacrifice good jobs, and leave airlines that play by the rules, both here and in Europe, at a competitive disadvantage.”
The USA Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) also welcomed the passing of the amendment and urged the USA Senate to support the USA House position.
Norwegian (NWG) said: “If the authorities listen to the legacy carriers and the unions, the losers will be customers, who will be left with no other option than airlines that offer astronomic fares and poor in-flight service.”
July 2014: Budget carrier, Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) reported a second-quarter net profit of +NOK128 million/+$20.6 million, down -35% from a net profit of +NOK196.8 million reported in the year-ago period.
(NWG) said the quarter reflected strong growth in passenger numbers and a record high load factor, but had been adversely affected by “significant, one-off costs, a weak Norwegian currency and high oil prices.” A strike by the Parat labor union earlier this year cost (NWG) more than -NOK100 million in lost revenue, it said. In addition, (NWG) incurred wet-leasing costs for airplanes to operate its long-haul routes as a result of technical problems following the introduction of its Boeing 787 airplanes.
Operating revenue for the quarter was up +26% to just over NOK5 billion from just over >NOK4 billion for the same period in 2013, and unit costs were down -2% for the quarter (-4% excluding fuel).
Passenger numbers were up +16% to 6.4 million and load factor was up three percentage points to 80% LF for the quarter.
(ASK)s were up +41% to just over >12 billion and (RPK)s were up +46% to 9.6 billion.
(NWG)’s (CEO), Bjørn Kjos said: “This quarter, we see clear results of the company’s strategy. Over the past year, we have established a long-haul operation and we have opened several new bases in Europe. More than half of our 417 routes are currently operated outside Norway, which illustrates a significant international expansion over the past year. At the same time, we have managed to cut costs, which is essential in such a competitive, global business as the aviation industry. We have, however, had significant, one-off expenses. Both wet lease of airplanes and the strike from labor union Parat has affected the result significantly. There is also a high competitive pressure, particularly in the Scandinavian market.”
Kjos pointed out the airline industry is still facing challenges as a result of the financial crisis and global downturn, and stressed that future demand is dependent on “sustained consumer and business confidence in the company’s key markets.”
Norwegian (NWG)/(NAI) started its long-haul operations from London Gatwick (LGW) this month with the launch of three new routes in the USA – to Los Angeles (LAX), New York (JFK) and Fort Lauderdale (FLL). The (LAX) route started on July 2nd, followed the next day by (JFK), with the week set to finish off with the Independence Day launch of Fort Lauderdale services on July 4th. While (JFK) will be served three times per week, Fort Lauderdale will be served twice-weekly (Mondays and Fridays), as will Los Angeles (Wednesdays and Sundays).
All three of the routes are operated by the low cost carrier (LCC)’s 291-seat 787-8s and will face no direct competition, however, there is plenty of service to New York and Los Angeles from London Heathrow (LHR) in terms of indirect competition. On Los Angeles there are seven daily competing frequencies split between five incumbents (with British Airways (BAB) and Virgin Atlantic Airways (VAA) both offering twice-daily operations, along with Air New Zealand (ANZ), American Airlines (AAL) and United Airlines (UAL) all providing daily services. On New York, however, the indirect competition will be even more intense with over >200 existing weekly frequencies.
Beginning with New York Newark, (UAL) currently offers five daily flights, (BAB) flies 20 times weekly and Virgin Atlantic (VAA) operates double-daily on the airport pair. To New York (JFK), there is even more capacity available, with (BAB) (59 weekly flights), (VAA) (28), (AAL), and Delta Air Lines (DAL) (21), as well as Kuwait Airways (KUW) (3) providing the competition.
(NWG) has commenced weekly (Saturdays) services between London Gatwick (LGW) and Corfu (CFU). Started on July 19th, the 2,020 km sector will face opposition from over 20 weekly competing frequencies, namely from easyJet (ezy) (14), Thomson Airways (ATZ)/(TFY) (six) and Thomas Cook Airlines (JMA)/(GUE) (two). Operating until September 20th, the route will be flown by the (LCC)’s 186Y-seat 737-800s.
(NWG) begins four new routes from London Gatwick this winter: Madeira 2x-weekly from October 28, La Palma weekly from November 1, Grenoble and Salzburg weekly from December 1.
August 2014: The European Commission (EC) is urging the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) to approve Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) application for a foreign air carrier permit, arguing that the application does not violate the USA-(EU) "Open Skies" agreement’s clause on labor regulations.
August 2014: The European Commission (EC) is urging the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) to approve Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) application for a foreign air carrier permit, arguing that the application does not violate the USA-(EU) "Open Skies" agreement’s clause on labor regulations.
Budget carrier, Norwegian (NAI)/(NWG) has opened a new long-haul base at London Gatwick Airport (LGW), supporting its Boeing 787 routes to Los Angeles, New York and Fort Lauderdale.
(NWG)/(NAI) is already well established at Gatwick. It opened a short-haul base at the airport in 2013, which has since expanded to 90 pilots (FC) and 200 cabin crew (CA). “Our hiring in the UK has been well received and many pilots (FC) are keen to be based at London Gatwick,” (NAI)/(NWG) Flight Operations Director, Torstein Hoås said, adding that cabin crew (CA) recruitment will begin early next year.
In 2014, (NWG)/(NAI) expects its 41 Gatwick routes to handle more than >3 million passengers. It is also recruiting pilots (FC) for its New York (JFK) base, where it already has cabin crew.
Earlier this year, Norwegian (NWG) formed a new Irish arm, Norwegian Air International (NAI), which it planned to use to operate its 787 services out of Gatwick. However, this caused an outcry from trade unions on both sides of the Atlantic, which accuse Norwegian of using Ireland as a “flag of convenience” to circumvent local labor laws. Norwegian (NWG) refutes this, saying the move is motivated by traffic rights and airplane financing benefits.
“We are already flying the 787s out of Gatwick. All of Norwegian’s long-haul routes between the USA and the Europe are operated by Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG), which has all the necessary permits to fly to and from the USA. Our subsidiary is still waiting for an approval from the USA Department of Transportation (DOT), but this doesn’t affect our operations today,” a Norwegian spokeswoman said.
Norwegian operates a fleet of seven 787s on its long-haul network and has another 10 on firm order.
The Oslo-based carrier claims to be Europe’s third largest low-cost carrier (LCC), carrying over >20 million passengers annually. It operates 417 routes to 126 destinations in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, USA and Southeast Asia. It employs approximately 4,500 people.
September 2014: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) said that the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced it needs more time to reach a decision on Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) application for a foreign carrier permit to serve the USA from Europe.
(NWG) has been waiting for more than >6 months for a (DOT) decision on its application and a ruling was anticipated for this month. But (NWG) said that the (DOT) was dismissing (NAI)’s exemption application “on procedural grounds.”
“[The exemption dismissal] simply gives the (DOT) additional time to consider (NAI)’s permit application. It is not a denial. (NWG) already holds a permit to fly between Europe and the USA, and (NWG)’s existing operations to the USA are not affected by the announcement.”
“While we think it is unfortunate that the (DOT) feels the need to further delay issuance of our permit, which has been pending now for over six months, (NAI) stands behind its business (from its pilots (FC) and cabin crew (CA), to its affordable fare model, to its desire to bring competition to the transatlantic market) and looks forward to receiving approval to operate without further delay,” (NAI) (CEO), Asgeir Nyseth added.
(NAI)’s application has met with opposition from labor groups, which object to (NAI) being registered in Ireland and outsourcing crew training and jobs to Asia to lower costs. They are concerned about setting a precedent for a “flags of convenience” business model similar to that used in the maritime industry. Some airlines are also opposed to (NAI)’s proposal.
But three former USA Secretaries of Transportation, Norman Mineta, Mary Peters, and Andy Card are in favor of the application, (NAI) said. Proponents say the application is valid under the terms of the (EU) - USA "Open Skies" agreement.
Norwegian Air dismissal would undermine the (EU) - USA Open Skies.
Norwegian (NWG) started destinations #36 and #37 from its growing London Gatwick (LGW) hub, adding six times weekly connections to two new European capitals (Berlin Schönefeld (SXF) and Warsaw Chopin (WAW)). Commencing September 15th, both services are flown by (NWG)’s 186Y-seat 737-800s. While there is no direct competition on the 1,465 km sector to the Polish capital, there are up to eleven daily flights from other London airports (five daily from London Heathrow (LHR) ((LOT) Polish Airlines, thrice-daily; British Airways (BAB), twice-daily), thrice-daily from London Luton (Wizz Air (WZZ)) and thrice-daily from London Stansted (Ryanair (RYR) to Warsaw Modlin). (NWG) will face direct competition on the 956 km airport pair to the German capital, with easyJet (EZY) offering up to four daily flights, and British Airways (BAB) (up to seven times daily from London Heathrow), germanwings (RFG) (up to thrice-daily from London Heathrow), Ryanair (RYR) (up to thrice-daily from London Stansted) and easyJet (EZY) again (up to twice-daily from London Luton), all providing indirect competition.
Norwegian (NWG) (CEO), Bjørn Kjos is eyeing long-haul flights to Africa and Latin America in 2016 - 2018, and is still optimistic (NAI) will secure USA clearance.
Bjørn Kjos is considering additional Boeing 787 orders for possible delivery from 2018 onward.
October 2014: News Item A-1: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) will launch weekly, London Gatwick - Orlando Boeing 787 service on April 4, 2015. It will increase London Gatwick - New York (JFK) from 3x-weekly to 6x-weekly from May 2015. In late March 2015, (NWG) will begin 2x-weekly, Oslo - Los Angeles service, and begin 3x-weekly, Stockholm - San Francisco service. On March 30, it will add weekly, Copenhagen - Orlando service.
News Item A-2: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) indicated it is prepared to wait as long as necessary to gain USA Department of Transportation (DOT) approval for its Ireland-based long-haul subsidiary, Norwegian Air International (NAI) to operate flights between Europe and the USA.
The European Commission (EC) has called for an “urgent” meeting of the joint committee that governs the USA - European Union (EU) "open skies" to discuss the USA Department of Transportation’s (DOT) delay in approving Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) application to serve the USA.
"Norwegian (NAI)/(NWG) is challenging legacy operator notions on transatlantic airfares" by Air Transport World (ATW) Aaron Karp in his AirKarp blog:
“Why should it cost twice as much to fly from New York to Europe than from New York to Seattle?” This question was posed by Norwegian Air International (NAI) (CEO), Asgeir Nyseth during the course of a nearly hour-long roundtable discussion with editors from (ATW) and Aviation Week. Nyseth was talking about (NAI)’s plans (assuming it gains USA Department of Transportation clearance) to operate Boeing 787s and perhaps 737 MAXs on low fares, transatlantic flights. He said this is threatening to USA and European legacy carriers accustomed to charging high prices for any ticket labeled “transatlantic.”
I did a cursory search online for round trip tickets between New York (JFK) and London Heathrow (LHR) and between (JFK) and Seattle. In both instances, I sought flights leaving (JFK) on November 7 and returning on November 14. The result: nonstop flights on each route would be about the same duration (6 hours, 45 minutes to London and 6 hours, 30 minutes to Seattle). The cheapest round trip, economy (Y)-class ticket to (LHR came in at $967, while the cheapest ticket to Seattle was priced at $336, a whopping -65% lower.
“The only thing that’s different is you have the sea under you,” Nyseth said.
Why the vast difference in prices? Nyseth argues that it is just a matter of legacy tradition that can now be made irrelevant by the super-efficient 787. “The 787 is the first and only airplane you can do long-haul, low cost with,” he said.
Of course, a big part of it is customer expectation. Those flying across the pond expect meals, movies, blankets, etc, while those flying domestically in the USA have come to expect little more than a seat and a soda. The legacy carriers also emphasize premium cabins on transatlantic flights and are in an arms race to provide the best business (C)-class service between the USA and Europe.
The European Commission (EC) has called for an “urgent” meeting of the joint committee that governs the USA - European Union (EU) "open skies" to discuss the USA Department of Transportation’s (DOT) delay in approving Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) application to serve the USA.
On October 20th, Aeron Karp added four follow-up thoughts to his last post on Norwegian Air International (NAI):
A2-A: As I found out from a number of emails and comments, some people find it outrageous to discuss (NAI) without a full airing of the controversy surrounding its application to the USA Department of Transportation for a foreign air carrier permit to operate flights between the European Union (EU) and the USA. We’ve covered that issue exhaustively here at (ATW) and I had written a news article on it the day prior to my blog post.
But the truth is that the (DOT )likely will eventually approve the application and then (NAI) will get to try out its low fares, transatlantic business plan. It’s worth discussing that business plan (which upsets some longstanding ideas about the transatlantic market) without constantly stopping to go over the well-publicized arguments against (NAI)’s (DOT) application. There’s no shortage of news and information about the controversy surrounding the application to the (DOT). There is, however, less talk about (NAI)’s business plan, if it gets approval (my blog post was in part aimed at getting that conversation going).
A2.B: I have no idea whether (NAI)’s business plan will work. But it and other carriers (Air Canada (ACN) is growing its lower fares rouge brand and WestJet (WJI) has transatlantic aspirations) are going to try exploring the market for non-business (C)-class, no-frills, low-fares flights across the Atlantic. When listening to (NAI) (CEO), Asgeir Nyseth during a recent roundtable discussion with (ATW) and Aviation Week editors, I couldn’t help but hear echoes of Spirit Airlines (SPR) (CEO), Ben Baldanza. Just as (SPR) is capturing leisure passengers in the USA, who can’t afford to fly mainline carriers but are willing to forgo creature comforts for very low fares, (NAI) believes it can tap into a market of passengers who are interested in transatlantic travel but flinch at current transatlantic airfares.
(SPR) gets a lot of heat in the mainstream media for its fast-food version of air travel, but (SPR)’s financial figures and load factors speak to an undeniable fact: There exists in the USA a large and growing population of leisure travelers who will only fly at (SPR)/Allegiant Air (WJE) fare levels. The three major international USA airlines and even Southwest Airlines (SWA) acknowledge (SPR) and (WJE) are creating new passengers, not taking away passengers from other airlines. Similarly, (NAI) believes it can create new, cost-conscious transatlantic leisure passengers.
Yes, as some emailers pointed out, (NAI) adds fees to its low fares, but that’s the point (as with (SPR) passengers who want to travel cheap will be able to do so, even if it means packing tight and eschewing in-flight amenities. Again, I don’t know if (NAI) will succeed, but very few knowledgeable people in the airline industry are sneering at (SPR) these days.
A2.C: Nyseth asked, “Why should it cost twice as much to fly from New York to Europe than from New York to Seattle?” and I noted I did an online search that found a 65% difference between ticket prices between (JFK) and Seattle and (JFK) and Heathrow (LHR). Yes, there are differences between domestic and international flights in terms of taxation, regulations, etc, and I don’t think Nyseth was suggesting there would ever be price-parity between USA transcontinental and transatlantic flights. But he was pointing out the extreme price difference, a function of taxes, etc, but also of passenger expectations, a status quo mentality and a resistance to the kind of open market competition in international markets (even in the competitive transatlantic market) that exists in domestic markets. Also, airplanes such as the Boeing 787, Airbus A350 and later the 737 MAX and A321neo are bringing a heretofore unavailable level of fuel efficiency that could change the cost equation for transatlantic flying.
A2-D): An observation from covering the airline business for a long time: The industry is very resistant to change (often at a great cost) and those proposing to upend the status quo get a lot of pushback. But those who challenge that status quo and succeed (Herb Kelleher, for example) are then lauded as pioneering visionaries. In other words, the industry is generally reluctant to celebrate change until it knows for sure whether that change is going to be successful.
News Item A-3. Norwegian (NAI)/(NWG) currently has seven 787-8s and eventually plans to operate a fleet of 40 - 50 787 Dreamliners, a mix of 787-8s with 291 seats and 787-9s with 347 seats. Their 787s will be in an all (Y)-economy configuration with “premium economy” (PY) seats available, but no business (C) class.
“We have no plan for business (C) class,” Nyseth emphasized. Echoing what Spirit Airlines (SPR) says about the USA domestic market, Nyseth said Norwegian (NAI)/(NWG) will attract passengers who previously bypassed transatlantic air travel because of cost. “We don’t take passengers from other airlines,” he said. “We create a new market.”
News Item A-4: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG)/(NAI) has selected Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 1000) engines for +9 additional leased Boeing 787-9 airplanes. This brings the total number of (NWG)/(NAI)’s (Trent 1000)-powered Boeing 787s to 17.
According to Rolls-Royce (RRC), (NWG)/(NAI) has also ordered long-term TotalCare service support for engines powering the nine airplanes, worth $440 million. The leased airplanes will be powered by the latest version of the (Trent 1000), the (Trent 1000-TEN).
(RRC) Chief Customer Officer Civil Large Engines, Dominic Horwood said the (Trent 1000) is delivering “excellent fuel burn economics and the best reliability performance on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.”
News Item A-5: Norway’s air navigation services provider (ANSP) Avinor is preparing to implement the largest airspace reorganization ever undertaken in Norway on November 13. The changes are aimed at increasing capacity, improving safety, enhancing efficiency and reducing air traffic’s environmental footprint.
The reorganization, developed in dialogue with the airlines, will affect 16 airports in southwestern Norway: Bergen/Flesland, Florø, Førde/Bringeland, Haugesund/Karmøy, Kristiansand/Kjevik, Kristiansund/Kvernberget, Molde/Årø, Røros, Sandane/Anda, Sogndal, Stord/Sørstokken, Stavanger/Sola, Trondheim/Værnes, Ørland, Ørsta-Volda/Hovden and Ålesund/Vigra.
Avinor warns that, although the changes will be implemented during the early hours of November 13, air traffic flow management regulation (ie, reduced hourly arrivals at the largest airports) will be enforced immediately after implementation, to ensure flight safety, while making sure the new system is working as expected. This will inevitably result in some delays, not just at the affected airports, but also potentially at other airports in Norway.
“Restrictions will be highest immediately after the implementation, with the largest delays expected in the morning hours of November 13. Restrictions will gradually be lifted, until normal operations are allowed,” Avinor said. The (ANSP) said it was working closely with airlines to minimize disruption.
November 2014: News Item A-1: Norwegian (NWG)/(NAI) continued its rapid expansion with three new routes having been added. On October 30th, (NAI) commenced its third route to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (BKK), when it launched twice-weekly 787-8 flights (Thursdays and Sundays) on the 8,616 km sector from Copenhagen (CPH), a route already served by Thai Airways (TII)’s daily services. (NAI) is already flying to Suvarnabhumi with four weekly flights from Stockholm Arlanda and Oslo Gardermoen. Two days later, on November 1st, (NWG) increased its seasonal offering from London Gatwick (LGW), with twice-weekly flights (Tuesdays and Saturdays) to Funchal (FNC) and weekly operations (Saturdays) to La Palma (SPC), both sectors being served until March 28th using (NWG)’s 186Y-seat 737-800s. While the route to the capital of Portugal’s Autonomous Region of Madeira is flown by easyJet (EZY) (six times weekly), Monarch Airlines (MON) (thrice-weekly) and Thomson Airways (ATZ)/(TFY) (weekly), the link to the most north-westerly of the Canary Islands is operated by Thomson Airways (ATZ)/(TFY) (twice-weekly). Noteworthy is the fact that the service to Thailand is (NAI)’s fourth long-haul route from the Danish gateway, as it already operates to Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles and New York (JFK). Furthermore, starting in March 2015, (NAI) will commence its fifth long-haul sector from Copenhagen, namely to Orlando.
News Item A-2: The European Union (EU) believes the continued delay by USA authorities in processing Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) application to operate to the USA marks the first breach of the (EU) - USA air transport agreement that was signed in 2007.
The European Commission (EC) called a meeting of the (EU) - USA Joint Committee in Washington DC to “raise one issue of principle on which we consider that the USA is not honoring the agreement: Norwegian Air International (NAI)'s application for a permit to fly to the United States,” it said.
The Ireland-based international subsidiary of Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) currently uses a temporary license to fly to the USA and is trying to obtain a foreign carrier permit with the backing of the (EU) executive.
The (EC) said it “considers that there is a breach of the (EU) - USA air transport agreement by the USA authorities, regarding the application from (NAI) to fly to the USA. The USA authorities are taking too long to process the application and this delay is not compatible with the (EU) - USA agreement. According to the agreement, the parties shall grant authorizations to carriers of the other party swiftly, which was the case in previous applications.”
The 2007 "Open Skies" agreement between the two blocs entitles (EU) airlines to operate to the USA from anywhere within the 28 member states of Europe, with USA carriers holding reciprocal rights for European operations. Norway is not a member of the European Union (EU), so Norwegian (NWG) is trying to establish a foothold within the (EU) for operating low-cost carrier (LCC) long-haul flights. The move is being resisted by USA unions and airlines, which alleges (NAI) is using its Ireland base as a flag of convenience that could ultimately erode safety standards and labor practices in the USA aviation industry.
Following the meeting in Washington DC, the (EC) said it will now “discuss the possible next steps with the EU member states.”
A further meeting of (EU) - USA Joint Committee is scheduled for January 2015.
News Item A-3: Budget carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) and (SAS) Scandinavian Airlines will conduct their first biofuel flights in Norway on November 11.
Two conventional scheduled flights, one operated by each airline, will depart Trondheim and Bergen airports, respectively, to make the relatively short hop to Oslo with 48% biofuel in their tanks.
The heads of the two airlines said they “believe this is the future.”
(SAS) (CEO), Rickard Gustafson said: “(SAS) has been working to speed up commercialization of renewable fuel for more than >10 years now. Even though we in (SAS) have reduced our total CO2 emissions by a full -13% since 2005, biofuel will enable us to reduce those harmful emissions a great deal more as we are heading for a more sustainable aviation industry. This flight is proof that solutions can be found. The next step will be to create the conditions that allow this progress to be realized on a large scale in Scandinavia.”
(NWG) (CEO), Bjørn Kjos said: “Norwegian (NWG) is keen to do everything possible to make aviation more environmentally friendly. (NWG) has a clear objective to reduce our CO2 emissions by -30% per passenger between 2008 and 2015. The most important environmental measure is to have new airplanes, and (NWG)’s fleet is among the newest and most environment-friendly in Europe. New planes are not enough, however. Sustainable biofuel is also important. This flight with biofuel from Bergen to Oslo is therefore an important milestone in the industry’s joint efforts to make sustainable biofuel available to the airlines.”
The initiative for these trial flights was taken by Norwegian airport operator and air navigation services provider Avinor and the environmental foundation ZERO.
Avinor (CEO) Dag Falk-Petersen explained: “Over the last few years, Avinor has led the Norwegian aviation industry’s investigation of opportunities to produce aviation biofuel from Norwegian timber, and we have deployed considerable resources in this work. We are optimists regarding the process going forward. We’ll continue our collaboration with Norwegian players in the forestry and energy industries and ZERO. We are on the cusp of what might be a win-win situation for both aviation and traditional land-based industry in Norway.”
Marius Holm, head of ZERO, said: “People will still be flying in a future low-emissions society, and so we need to find good, renewable solutions that can replace fossil fuels. The only realistic alternative today is biofuel. Biofuels provide important, new industrial opportunities in Norway. ZERO believes policy instruments can be used to introduce renewable fuel at a reasonable cost through differentiation of landing fees, which will create a demand for renewable fuel.”
The fuel that will be used for these flights is a blend of 48% sustainable bio-jet fuel based on used cooking oil, and 52% conventional jet paraffin. The aim is to produce the biofuel for Norwegian aviation from biomass from forests in Norway.
A trio of European airlines has signed an agreement for a regular supply of biofuel at Oslo Airport, which will next year become the world’s first hub airport to receive regular deliveries of biofuel.
(SAS) Scandinavian Airlines, Germany’s Lufthansa Group (which includes Lufthansa (DLH), SWISS (CSR), Austrian Airlines (AUL), Germanwings (RFG), Eurowings and Brussels Airlines (DAT)/(EBA)), (KLM) Royal Dutch Airlines, and Oslo Airport operator Avinor have all signed agreements with Statoil Aviation to supply 2.5 million liters of biofuel over a 12-month period to the refueling facility at Oslo Airport.
Consisting of a 50% biofuel mix, this equates to around 3,000 flights between Oslo and Bergen and makes Oslo the first major airport in the world to offer a regular supply of biofuel as part of daily operations from March 2015. It is also the first time that sustainable biojet fuel will be used in the airport’s hydrant system.
(SAS) and budget carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) recently conducted the first biofuel flights in Norway, operating scheduled flights to Oslo from Trondheim and Bergen, respectively, with a 48% mix of biofuel.
(SAS) said it has reduced its total CO2 emissions by around -13% since 2005, and said it is the only airline in Scandinavia with an all-next-generation jet airplane fleet. From next year, (SAS) will begin rolling out even more energy efficient short- and long-haul airplanes, namely the Airbus A330 Enhanced and A320neo, followed by the A350.
(SAS) said it aimed to use synthetic fuel on an increasingly regular basis in the next few years, and expected biofuel to become competitive with the fossil fuel alternative. For this to happen, (SAS) said, “a general environment and tax policy will be required from governments, based on aviation being a form of internationally competitive public transport with thin profit margins.”
While initial biofuel deliveries at Oslo will probably come from used cooking oil, major players in the Norwegian power and forestry industries are now exploring the possibility of forest-based large-scale production of biofuel for aviation in the course of a few short years.
Avinor (CEO), Dag Falk-Petersen said: “It’s not out of the question that we in Norway could achieve large-scale production of sustainable aviation biofuel at a competitive price in 2020.”
There are currently two industrial Norwegian initiatives for production of biofuel and both are looking into the possibility of producing both bio-diesel, for the heavy transport sector, and bio-jet fuel for aviation. It is anticipated that a single biofuel plant would be able to produce enough biojet fuel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Norwegian aviation by -10% to -15%. Not only could biofuel production reduce Norway’s greenhouse gas emissions, but it could also increase value creation from the country’s forests. This would, Avinor pointed out, be an “important step towards a sustainable industry in Norway and a shift towards the renewable zero discharge society.”
Marius Holm, head of the environmental foundation (ZERO), said: “This is a good start towards developing a market for aviation bio-fuel. The fact that Avinor is contributing to making Oslo Airport the first hub in the world, where all airlines have the opportunity to use bio-fuel, illustrates that a green change is possible. At the same time, it's important that the authorities step up with policy instruments that promote greater use of biofuel in aviation.”
December 2014: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has submitted a formal complaint to the European Commission (EC) and (EFTA) Surveillance Authority (ESA) about (SAS) Scandinavian Airlines receiving what it believes is “differential treatment.”
(NWG) said that “discriminatory conditions and licensing practices prevent (NWG) from obtaining access to traffic rights on the same terms as (SAS).” It also believes the differential treatment generates “significant additional costs for (SAS)’ competitors in Scandinavia.”
(NWG) argued this differential treatment is attributed to “grandfather rights,” and the fact that the majority shareholders in (SAS) are the governments of Norway, Sweden and Denmark.
(NWG) said: “(NWG) has for the past five years on numerous occasions applied for and requested equal treatment and conditions to no avail. Every time, the rejections by the Scandinavian national aviation authorities have been justified by (SAS)’ historically defined conditions and that its majority owners are the governments of Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.”
(NWG) is lobbying for equal access to the same sort of joint air operator’s certificate (AOC) under which (SAS) operates, giving the Scandinavian carrier access to traffic rights both within the (EU) and the European Free Trade Area (EFTA), which includes Norway. (NWG) cannot access those rights because Norway is not a part of the (EU). Those traffic rights would enable it to operate flights between Helsinki and Dubai, for example, or London and Tel Aviv, or Barcelona and Tel Aviv.
“(NWG) recently applied to the authorities to get access to these routes, but was denied because the airline does not hold an (EU) (AOC),” (NWG) said. It argued it had not filed a formal complaint to the European authorities before now because it hoped Scandinavian aviation authorities would create an equal set of rules for all the companies operating in the same market. (NWG) said the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) had also criticized the preferential treatment of (SAS), concluding that it was in breach of European law.
(NWG) claimed (EASA) has “on numerous occasions over the past years stated that (SAS)’ special treatment and ‘multi-country’-(AOC) is not in accordance with the requirement of a ‘principal place of business’ under current (EU) regulations. Based on an approved (AOC), an airline is granted an operating license in the country where it has its ‘principal place of business’ and it is the civil aviation authorities in that country that shall conduct and be responsible for performing the safety supervision.”
(SAS) can use airplanes registered in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark seamlessly without approval, notwithstanding place of registry, unlike its competitors. (NWG) claims that the Scandinavian aviation authorities “have established and continued a special treatment in favor of (SAS), that is not in accordance with (EASA) rules and regulations.”
See video - - "NWG-787-8 Premium Class Stockholm to Ft Lauderdale"
February 2015: News Item A-1: Low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) recorded a 2014 loss of -NOK1.05 billion/-$137 million, reversed from a profit of +NOK322 million in 2013. (NWG) said its rapid expansion and investment for further future growth were major factors behind its first annual loss in eight years.
Revenue jumped +25% to NOK19.5 billion year-over-year. Passenger numbers were up +16% to 24 million, while capacity, measured in (ASK)s, was up +35%. Load factor rose +3% to 81% LF.
The company has been engaged in a lengthy battle to win regulatory approval for low-cost transatlantic services, as it faces determined opposition from trade unions and airlines. It priced the costs related to the delayed approval of a USA foreign air carrier permit for the company’s Ireland-based long-haul subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) at NOK117 million, while a strike in May accounted for NOK101 million.
It added that a combination of major currency fluctuations and fuel hedging for 2015 had a negative result effect of NOK690 million for the full year. Long-haul delays also cost NOK265 million in 2014, through factors such as extra fuel, as well as expenses related to accommodation, food and drinks for delayed passengers.
“There is no denying that 2014 has been a weak year for Norwegian (NWG),” (CEO), Bjørn Kjos said. “At the same time, we do see several positive trends entering 2015. Last year was characterized by continued international expansion, not least, the launch of new long-haul routes. Our growth strategy yields results as we continue to gain a stronger global foothold. Even with large investment costs, we have managed to reduce unit costs and renewed our fleet considerably.
“Entering 2015, we see a satisfactory demand for quality flights at affordable fares and are already in the first quarter benefiting from the low oil price. Still, there is no doubt that we need to further reduce our cost level in order to stay competitive in a very challenging market.”
News Item A-2: Norwegian Air Shuttle’s (NWG) USA-based employees are urging the USA President Obama administration to approve (NWG)'s foreign air carrier’s permit application, adding their voices to the din surrounding (NWG)’s controversial application.
News Item A-3: Norwegian (NWG) has entered into new agreements with tour operators TUI Travel (TUG), Thomas Cook (JMA)/(GUE) and Nazar. The agreements mean that (NWG) will fly charter passengers to several destinations in the Mediterranean. The agreements are worth over >NOK400 million/$52.5 million and include nearly 2,000 flights.
News Item A-4: Norwegian ((IATA) Code: DY, based at Oslo Gardermoen) (NWG) has transferred its first airplane to its new European subsidiary, Norwegian Air Norway ((ICAO) Code: NAN, based at Oslo Gardermoen), "Skyliner Aviation" has reported. The 737-800 formerly (39012, LN-DYY) on the Norwegian registry, has now become (EI-FHA) on the Irish registry as of February 17. Four airplanes are now already operating for the new carrier, all of which are based at London Gatwick.
Founded in late 2013, Norwegian Air Norway is believed to be registered in Ireland, a member of the European Union (EU). Norwegian Air Norway will use its Irish registry to gain greater Norwegian greater access to the European intra-regional market than it currently has under its Norwegian registration and certification.
The Scandinavian budget carrier has already established Norwegian Air International (NAI) (based at Dublin International) in Ireland in the hopes of using its Irish registry to gain Norwegian (NWG) greater access to the European intercontinental market (the USA market in particular). The project, however, has encountered severe resistance from both sides of the Atlantic with the USa Department of Transportation yet to decide on its application for a Foreign Air Carrier Permit.
See video: "NWG-2015-02 787 to Los Angeles.jpg"
March 2015: News Item A-1: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) estimated that some 35,000 passengers were affected by a strike among pilots (FC) that shut down routes across Scandinavia on March 4th.
The industrial action expanded to take in an estimated 650 (FC) flight deck crew, who are in dispute with subsidiary, Norwegian Air Norway over cost-cutting proposals.
Attempts to reach a solution between the company and two unions (the Norwegian Pilot Union (NPU) and Parat) have so far been unsuccessful.
As a result, all domestic flights in Norway, Sweden and Denmark were canceled on March 4th, as were services between the Scandinavian nations.
Some services outside Scandinavia remained operational. Flights to and from the UK, Spain, and Finland, as well as long-haul services to and from the USA and Thailand were still planned.
Parent company, Norwegian Air Shuttle said it had proposed the “essential” cost-cutting measures to ensure the future of the company. The unions’ demands are understood to include contracts with the parent company rather than its subsidiaries.
The statement said that “(NPU)’s goal has been to control the company and the company’s production, obtain a collective agreement in a company they are not employed by, and that the Norwegian collective agreement should also apply outside Norway. Norwegian could not agree with the requirement of a common seniority list for all pilots (FC); i e, seniority in a company they are not employed in.”
The fast-expanding carrier, which has been attempting to obtain permission to fly to the USA against strong USA airline and union opposition, in 2014 made its first loss for eight years.
News Item A-2: INCDT: A toilet-servicing truck reversed into a stationary Norwegian (NWG) Boeing 737-800, causing significant damage to the airplane skin and seriously injuring a ground worker, according to a report released by the UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).
As passengers were boarding 737-800 (39007, LN-DYS) at London Gatwick Airport on the morning of December 23, the airplane lurched sideways and there was a “grinding noise,” the report said. By now about 140 passengers had boarded and the process was halted, while the captain (FC) investigated. “Descending to ground level outside the airplane, the captain (FC) saw that a toilet servicing truck was partially under the rear of the airplane and that the driver was standing by his cab, with his head in his hands. Another man, later identified as a second toilet service crewman, was lying on the ground calling out in pain,” the (AAIB) report said.
It emerged that the truck had overshot by “about 3.5 m,” striking the rear left side of the 737-800. “A gash of about one meter in length had been torn in the 737-800’s fuselage skin and the forward fuselage had made contact with the air bridge as it slewed left,” the (AAIB) report stated.
The vehicle “badly hurt” the toilet service crew man, a so-called banksman who was guiding the truck as the driver reversed. As the vehicle overshot, the banksman was crushed between the toilet truck and a baggage conveyer, positioned by the rear freight bay door on the other side of the 737-800.
Fire service paramedics, the police and an ambulance were deployed to the scene and the passengers were disembarked.
“(LN-DYS) belongs to Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG)’s daughter company Norwegian Air Norway. It was involved in a ground accident where ground equipment was run into the airplane which resulted in major damages. The 737-800 is now repaired.”
According to a report submitted to the (AAIB) by the truck owner, the driver accidentally pressed the accelerator instead of the brake. It added that the banksman appeared to have been standing directly behind the vehicle, rather than to once side, as the vehicle reversed. “There were no issues identified with training or vehicle serviceability,” the (AAIB) report said.
April 2015: News Item A-1: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has estimated that March’s 11-day pilot (FC) strike cost NOK350 million/$43 million in additional expenses and lost future revenue.
Despite the lengthy dispute, passenger numbers dropped by just -4% to 1.73 million, which was partly because the flights that did fly had higher-than-normal load factors of 82.4% LF.
(NWG) said the canceled flights cost NOK120 million, plus NOK110 million for taking care of affected passengers. These costs included re-booking passengers onto other airlines and purchasing food and accommodations for stranded passengers.
(NWG) estimates the loss of income through lost future bookings amounted to an additional -NOK120 million.
For the first time in (NWG)’s history, monthly passenger figures dropped, when compared to the year-ago period. The decline was mainly in Scandinavia (services based in London and elsewhere were largely unaffected) due to the cancelation of nearly 2,000 flights.
However, traffic figures for March were boosted by people traveling in advance of the Easter holiday break.
Traffic figures for April are expected to continue to see the after-effects of the strike; (NWG) said it is running a sales campaign to try to make up lost ground. Ticket sales are improving, but will not fill the financial hole left by the dispute, (NWG) said.
“The strike among the Scandinavian pilots (FC) affected our company considerably and amounted to huge additional costs,” (CEO), Bjørn Kjos said. “Fortunately, we continue to attract many new customers in Europe and America, which offsets the fact that customers in Scandinavia were forced to fly with our competitors for a period of time. “Had we not had such a large customer base outside of Scandinavia and so many hardworking employees, the situation would have been even more difficult.”
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) reported a first-quarter net loss of -NOK538 million/-$68 million, narrowed from a net loss of -NOK595 million in the year-ago quarter.
(NWG) said the quarterly results were affected by the 11-day pilot (FC) strike in Scandinavia in March (which led to cancellation of some 2,000 flights) and the weakness of Norway’s currency. However, the budget carrier said passenger growth outside Scandinavia is strong and future bookings are looking healthy, particularly on long-haul routes.
Total operating revenue for the quarter ended March 31 was NOK4.034 billion, up +14% compared to the same quarter in 2014. Operating expenses were up +5% to NOK3.97 billion year-over-year. (NWG) said this was largely due to a +7% increase in capacity and costs related to the strike.
The number of passengers carried in the first quarter was up +2% to 4.96 million, and load factor was up six points to 83% LF. (ASK)s were up to just over >10 billion from 9.42 billion in (Q1) 2014, and (RPK)s increased +15% to 8.34 billion year-over-year.
The financial impact of the pilot (FC) strike is estimated to be approximately -NOK350 million and a -190,000 decline in passenger numbers in Norway and Sweden. However, (NWG) added +320,000 passengers in England and Spain combined, and also benefited from Easter falling in the first quarter instead of the second quarter.
(NWG) (CEO), Bjørn Kjos said future demand is “dependent on sustained consumer and business confidence in the company’s key markets.” He cautioned that “fuel prices and currency fluctuations are risks which can have a significant impact on (NWG)’s business and financial results. Sudden and significant changes in fuel price and foreign exchange rates could significantly impact fuel and other costs, and debt denominated in foreign currency,” he said.
Looking forward, Kjos said bookings for the second quarter were satisfactory, and cost efficiencies would be achieved by introducing larger airplanes (10 new 737-800s with blended Winglets to be delivered this year) with a lower operating costs. He said (NWG) is also “establishing and preparing for an organizational structure that will secure cost-efficient international expansion and necessary traffic rights for the future.”
News Item A-2: Norwegian (NWG) is seeking a UK air operator’s certificate (AOC) as it continues to expand its route network. It is also reportedly seeking a Spanish (AOC).
Achieving a (UK) (AOC) would allow (NWG) to tap into that country’s bilateral air service arrangements with other countries, giving it access to destinations that would not otherwise be accessible. “If you look at the UK, it’s a big market for us,” (NWG) VP Corporate Communications, Lasse Sandaker-Nielsen said. “We’re now the third-largest carrier at [London] Gatwick.”
If the UK Civil Aviation Authority grants an (AOC), Norwegian (NWG) would have access “to places like India, for example, that are not possible with a Norwegian (AOC). Third countries don’t allow you to establish operating rights that don’t go between Norway and their country.”
The fact that Norway is not a member of the European Union (EU) is also a complicating factor in gaining foreign rights, he added.
(NWG) (CEO), Bjørn Kjos was quoted in "The Wall Street Journal" as saying (NWG) is also seeking a Spanish (AOC). “Spain is obviously interesting, but we haven’t confirmed that,” Sandaker-Nielsen said. “Perhaps a Spanish (AOC) is something we would look into, sometime in the future.” Spain is a major destination for (NWG).
Norwegian (NWG) currently has two active (AOC)s within Norway for its various subsidiaries. Norwegian Air International (NAI) holds an Irish (AOC) for proposed services to the USA, which have run into major opposition from USA carriers and unions.
The company has been trying to obtain a USA foreign air carrier permit since February 2014, but the issue has become mired in the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) amid the controversy over its planned services, and there has been no recent progress on the issue, Sandaker-Nielsen said.
News Item A-3: Norwegian (NWG) continued to expand rapidly with the addition of six more routes. Interestingly, (NWG) started a new transatlantic route, namely the addition of weekly (Saturdays) flights from London Gatwick (LGW) to Orlando (MCO). This is (NWG)’s third route to Orlando, as it already flies from Copenhagen and Oslo Gardermoen. In addition, (NWG) connected Madrid (MAD) to Birmingham (BHX) and Dubrovnik (DBV) on March 31st, while on April 4th, it added flights to Catania (CTA) and Malta (MLA) from the Spanish destination.
Routes as follows:
London Gatwick (LGW) to Orlando, Florida (MCO), 787 1x weekly vs British Airways (14x), Virgin Atlantic Airways (14x);
Madrid (MAD) to Birmingham (BHX), 737-800 3x; to Catania (CTA), 737-800 1x, vs RyanAir (RYR); to Dubrovnik (DBV), 737-800 2x; to Malta (MLA), 737-800 1x, vs (RYR) 3x;
Malaga (AGP) to Edinburgh (EDI), 737-800 2x, vs (RYR) 6x, (JT2), 4x.
On November 4 (NWG) begins service to San Juan, Puerto Rico with 2x-weekly from (LGW). Also to San Juan weekly, Copenhagen, November 6; Stockholm, November 3; and Oslo, November 1. Norwegian (NWG) also began 3x-weekly, Birmingham, UK (BHX) - Madrid service. New (BHX) 3x-weekly service to Malaga began and 2x-weekly (BHX) service to Barcelona begins June 1.
News Item A-4 See video: LAX to Oslo:
May 2015: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has completed a NOK1 billion/$136 million unsecured bond issue, which will mature in May 2018. The settlement date for the loan is expected to be May 20.
(NWG) said that net proceeds from the bond issue would be used for “general corporate purposes.” An application will be made to list the bonds on the Oslo Stock Exchange.
Arctic Securities, Danske Bank Markets and (DNB) Markets acted as joint lead managers for placement of the new bond issue, which (NWG) said was oversubscribed.
737-8JP (41136, LN-NHE), (DY9) Leasing leased.
June 2015: News Item A-1: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG), which is still awaiting USA Department of Transportation (DOT) approval for its Norwegian Air International (NAI) long-haul subsidiary, will fly from northeast USA cities to the Caribbean in the winter.
Staring December 3, 2015, (NAI) will operate 3x-weekly flights from New York (JFK) to the Guadeloupe Islands and Martinique as well as twice-weekly service to the Caribbean destinations from both Baltimore/Washington (BWI) and Boston (BOS). The flights, to be operated with Boeing 737-800s configured with 186Y seats, will be seasonal.
There are currently no flights from (JFK), (BWI) or (BOS) to Guadeloupe or Martinique. Since Guadeloupe and Martinique are legally part of France (and by extension, the European Union (EU)) the flights are allowed under the USA - (EU) "Open Skies" agreement, of which Norway became a party in 2011.
Norwegian (NWG)/(NAI) hopes to entice USA passengers to fly to the Caribbean destinations with low fares (the introductory one-way fare from all three airports will be $79) and said the flights “also give Norwegian (NWG)/(NAI)’s passengers from Europe a golden opportunity to combine a city break in New York with an exotic Caribbean vacation.”
Norwegian (NWG) wants to operate low-fares transatlantic flights with Ireland-based (NAI), but needs approval from the (DOT). Its foreign air carrier permit application was filed with the (DOT) in February 2014. Though frustrated with the delay in issuing a ruling, Norwegian (NWG) executives have said they are willing to wait and plan to continue building up the airline’s USA presence in the meantime. The new Caribbean flights appear to be part of that strategy.
In announcing the Guadeloupe and Martinique flights, (CEO), Bjørn Kjos reiterated Norwegian (NWG)’s USA commitment, saying, “We will continue to expand in the USA, by launching new routes and establishing more USA bases.”
News Item A-2: Pilots (FC) from Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) and West Atlantic Airlines (AAG) will be represented by the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) on both the national and international level.
(BALPA) said it had formed a positive relationship over the past year with Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) managers and its team of more than >120 pilots (FC) operating from London Gatwick and employed by (OSM) Aviation, which provides personnel to (NWG).
Following a recruitment campaign by the union a recognition agreement had now been signed between the company and (BALPA). The union said this would immediately provide Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) pilots (FC) with a combined voice on a range of issues and representation in negotiations on pay and conditions.
The union added that over the past year, it had also been working with pilots in West Atlantic (AAG), the UK-based but Sweden-originating European cargo airline, to provide access to (BALPA) representation and protection.
According to the union, the UK’s independent Advisory, Conciliation & Arbitration Service (which mediates in industrial disputes) had confirmed the majority of West Atlantic (AAG) pilots (FC) had joined (BALPA), which is now recognized as the representative of its UK workforce of 125-plus pilots (FC) in negotiations on a range of important work issues.
“(BALPA) is proud to welcome West Atlantic (AAG) and Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) pilots (FC) into the 9,000-strong UK pilot (FC) family,” General Secretary, Jim McAuslan said. “Our new members will now have professional (BALPA) support at work, through constructive and effective representation, and a national and international voice on major issues such as fatigue, flight safety and pensions.”
News Item A-3: Three more airlines (Singapore Airlines (SIA), Royal Brunei (RBA), and Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG)) have signed up for (SITA) OnAir’s flight tracking system, and AIRCOM FlightTracker. These carriers will join Malaysia Airlines (MAS), Oman Air (OMR) and 10 other unspecified carriers that use the system.
(AIRCOM) has been developed by (SITA), working with a number of airlines to use equipment already fitted to the airplane to provide a tracking solution. No additional hardware is required, just an additional layer of software that can be installed and activated in a matter of days.
The system “meets and exceeds the flight tracking requirements defined by (IATA) and (ICAO),” (SITA) OnAir (CEO), Ian Dawkins said at the (SITA) Air Transport Information Technology (IT) Summit in Brussels.
(AIRCOM) FlightTracker harnesses the communications links already installed on most modern airliners to download position data to an airline's operational center, using Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) and (ATC) radar data as a tracking tool, while the aircraft is over land and switching to (ACARS) and (FANS) in the oceanic environment.
Dawkins pointed out that 14,000 airplanes in the global fleet are already equipped with some element of (SITA) OnAir, operated by 400 customer airlines. More than >95 of these are equipped with the (AIRCOM) server, meaning that the software upgrade can be deployed in days. (SITA) has also created a cloud solution for airlines that do not have (AIRCOM).
Norwegian (NWG) (COO), Geir Steiro said: “Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has a strict selection process for every new solution we introduce. (SITA) OnAir’s Flight Tracker is the most complete solution available. Using multiple sources of data, we can track all our aircraft at 15 minute intervals or less. It also provides the most accurate data, using “smoothing' to combine position sources. A bonus feature is the unique way it integrates (ATC) data into our systems. It will give us valuable insight into operations and how we can improve them.”
A total of 15 airlines are currently using (AIRCOM) FlightTracker and seven have also signed up for an option that issues an alert if an aircraft deviates from track. A refined version of the deviation alert system will be integrated into the next version of the system due for release later this year. This will define an operating corridor for the aircraft, incorporating (ATC) data link communications, to ensure that legitimate and approved deviations do not automatically trigger an alert.
(AIRCOM) FlightTracker forces the aircraft to communicate its position at a regular interval,” Dawkins said. “It guarantees regular flight position updates.”
(SITA) is also conducting trials with a major European airline testing the feasibility of streaming black box data from aircraft in the event of an emergency. Dawkins said that if the trials are successful, this capability could be incorporated into (AIRCOM) FlightTracker as early as the end of this year.
“Having immediate access to flight data can help to improve flight safety,” he said.
(SITA) OnAir said it would provide flight tracking and position reporting services free of charge to (SITA) members in the event of an emergency.
July 2015: News Item A-1: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) reported a significantly improved second quarter over the previous year, with net profits rising to +NOK 325 million/+$39.8 million compared to +NOK129 million a year ago.
The result was achieved with +8% growth in capacity (ASKs) being outstripped by +15% growth in (RPK)s. Passengers are traveling farther as more long-haul routes are added and are also contributing to higher levels of ancillary revenue.
Revenue, at almost NOK5.9 billion, was up +16% from the same quarter last year.
(NWG) carried 7 million passengers in the second quarter, up +9% on the year-ago period. Strongest growth in passenger numbers was at London Gatwick, where (NWG) has a substantial base, with its Oslo home hub described as “a close runner-up” in growth. (NWG)’s increasingly important Spanish network also experienced what the company described as “a solid rise” in passenger numbers.
Load factor for the second quarter was 85.2% LF, up from 79.6% LF a year ago.
Within this overall growth figure, (NWG) reported its new long-haul services are operating at a load factor of 91% LF, with its expanding fleet of Boeing 787s carrying 324,000 long-haul passengers compared to 139,000 a year ago. (NWG) has a long-haul fleet of 8 787s, with +4 more to be added next year.
New long-haul routes are being steadily added from Scandinavian airports as well as London Gatwick, despite the continuing delay in the USA regulatory authorities approving permission for long-haul subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) to operate transatlantic services on its Irish (AOC).
(NWG) has also launched new routes between the Caribbean and Boston, New York, and Washington DC.
On the cost front, the decrease in fuel prices more than offset a weaker Norwegian krone, with the fuel price benefit being accentuated by the increasing numbers in the fleet of economical 787s.
“It has been a good quarter for (NWG) with a positive growth throughout our route network, particularly on our long-haul network,” (CEO), Bjørn Kjos said.
News Item A-2: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) will create a network of internal Spanish services from the start of the winter 2015 - 2016 season.
The services will focus on flights between mainland Spain and the Canary Islands, Spanish territories off the coast of northwest Africa. (NWG) said its appearance on these routes will help to reverse a noticeable decline in connectivity to the islands in recent years.
Citing figures from Spain’s Infrastructure Ministry, (NWG) noted that in 2011 the islands had a supply of just over >9 million seats annually to mainland Spain. By 2014, this decreased -16.4% to 7.55 million seats. (NWG) said its new services would restore more than one-third of that loss, with the added competition helping to reverse a recent rise in fares.
(NWG) has gradually become a substantial player in Spain. From its entry into the Spanish market in 2003, it now serves 15 Spanish destinations on international routes and has six bases in the country (Alicante, Barcelona, Gran Canaria, Madrid, Malaga, and Tenerife South) where it stations around 20% of its fleet of 96 Boeing 737-800s.
The announcement of internal Spanish services “represents (NWG)’s coming of age in Spain,” Norwegian Founder & (CEO), Bjørn Kjos said in Madrid July 9. “The launch of this first batch of seven domestic routes makes our commitment to Spain all the more evident.”
From October 25, (NWG) will link Madrid with daily flights to Gran Canaria and Tenerife North, while Barcelona will be linked to Tenerife North (4x-weekly) Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura (both 3x-weekly). Malaga will see flights starting to Gran Canaria and Tenerife South (both 2x-weekly).
News Item A-3: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) will begin seasonal, 2x-weekly, Baltimore/Washington (BWI) - Martinique December 4 and (BWI) - Guadeloupe December 5 with Boeing 737-800s.
News Item A-4: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) is waiting to hear whether its application for a UK air operator’s certificate (AOC) has been successful, as the debate over its USA foreign air carrier permit continues.
In April, Norwegian (NWG) confirmed it was seeking a UK (AOC), which would allow it to tap additional bilateral air service arrangements. Norway is not a member of the European Union (EU), which complicates its access to foreign traffic rights. A Norwegian spokeswoman confirmed that the UK (AOC) application has been submitted to the UK Department for Transport (DfT).
“(NWG) has a large airplane order and will need access to bilateral traffic rights between UK and destinations in Asia and South America in the future. An (AOC) is an important step to get a stronger foothold in the British market. We will update on the progress of the application in due course,” the (NWG) spokeswoman said.
(NWG) currently has two active (AOC)s within Norway for its various subsidiaries. Norwegian Air International (NAI) also holds an Irish (AOC) for proposed services to the USA, but its attempts to obtain a USA foreign air carrier permit since February 2014 have run into major opposition from USA carriers and unions.
Speaking at the recent (ACI) Europe Annual Assembly in Prague, European Commission (EC) Communication & Political Advisor, Matej Zakonjsek said the issue of (NWG)’s foreign air carrier permit application was “being addressed and dealt with.”
(NWG) was hoping to use the Irish (AOC) to develop its transatlantic services from London Gatwick, where it currently has nine airplanes based, including two Boeing 787s.
On July 9th, (NWG) announced plans to add a new 4x-weekly, London Gatwick - Boston service from May 2016. It is also adding daily Gatwick - New York frequencies from October, along with a new Gatwick - Puerto Rico link from November.
“This is an exciting time for (NWG) as we celebrate our first successful year of low-cost, long-haul flights [from Gatwick] and prepare for our busiest ever summer in the UK. Over >200,000 passengers have now chosen to fly transatlantic with (NWG),” (NWG) (CEO), Bjorn Kjos said.
News Item A-5: "Norwegian’s First Year of UK - USA Services Aanalysed; >200,000 passengers carried with average load factors of around 93% LF" by anna.aero, July 22, 2015.
Norwegian (NWG) has now been operating its transatlantic services from London Gatwick for just over a year. The first three routes to Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and New York (JFK) all began in the first week of July 2014 amidst considerable media interest.
The following shows how successful these new routes been from the UK’s second busiest airport. According to UK (CAA) data, (NWG) has transported around 212,000 passengers in the first 12 months across all three routes, none of which are served by any other carrier from Gatwick. The New York route has seen almost 100,000 passengers followed by Los Angeles (65,000) and Fort Lauderdale (almost 50,000).
From when the routes launched until the end of March 2015, New York was served with 3x-weekly flights, while Fort Lauderdale and Los Angeles were each served with 2x-weekly flights. Fort Lauderdale service was reduced to weekly from April 2015. In May, frequency to New York was increased to 6x-weekly, while Los Angeles service was also doubled to 4x-weekly.
Using (CAA) data for airplane movements, and assuming that all flights were operated by the airline’s 291-seat 787-8s, it is possible to estimate the actual load factors for each route for each month. These are impressively high, right from the first month. No route has achieved an estimated load factor of less than <88% for any month in the first year of operation.
Overall, across the first year, it is estimated that the Fort Lauderdale route had a load factor of 93.2%, just beating New York (JFK) (93.1%), and Los Angeles (92.4%). Impressively, the doubling of frequency from May on the New York and Los Angeles routes did not have a detrimental impact on load factors, though demand for these routes would naturally be stronger, as the summer season evolves.
According to Norwegian (NWG)’s recent 2015 (Q2) report, its long-haul operations (which began in May 2013) have carried 1.7 million passengers across 29 routes using eight 787-8s (as of May 2015). In the first half of 2015 almost 600,000 passengers have been carried, of which less than <20% (around 114,000) have been on the UK routes to the USA. It is estimated that the average revenue per passenger across all of the airline’s long-haul routes is around 3,200 Norwegian Krona (NOK), which at current exchange rates is equivalent to around 390 US Dollars, 360 Euros or £250. In terms of its long-haul operations, (NWG) says there has been “strong progress for long-haul,” has “reached critical mass and built market presence,” and “expect positive contribution going forward.” However, a “positive contribution” is not quite the same as being profitable according to one's understanding of airline economics terminology.
Apart from these first three routes, Norwegian (NWG) now also serves Orlando from Gatwick (since April 4, 2015) with San Juan in Puerto Rico being added from November 1, and Boston planned as the next USA destination from London, starting in May 2016.
737-8JP (39419, LN-NOY), (AWAS) (AWW) leased, 737-86J (36879, LN-NIB), leased.
August 2015: News Item A-1: Norwegian (NWG) will lease two additional Boeing 787-9s, due for delivery in summer 2017, which it will use to extend its long-haul network.
“In order to make our long-haul operation even more competitive, we are dependent on more brand new, cost-efficient airplanes. Our long-haul routes have been very popular and I´m very satisfied to have secured more 787 Dreamliners. This will enable us to launch even more routes to existing destinations all over the world,” (NWG) (CEO), Bjørn Kjos said.
The pair of 787-9s will be new-build and configured with 35PY seats in premium and 309Y economy-class seats. (NWG) will lease the airplanes through its asset company, Arctic Aviation Assets (AAA), although the name of the supplying lessor was not disclosed in the August 27 announcement.
“We can confirm that (AAA), an asset company fully owned by Norwegian (nwg), is the lessee. The lessor does not want to be disclosed at this time.”
Norwegian (NWG) currently has eight Boeing 787-8s in service, plus commitments for 11 787-9s. It will take delivery of four 787-9s in 2016, five in 2017, and two in 2018.
With this latest agreement, Norwegian (NWG)’s long-haul fleet will grow to 19 787s by 2018.
News Item A-2: UK crew specialist, the (CTC) Aviation Group has announced a new five-year Boeing 737-800W full-flight, modular simulator usage agreement with Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) to support (NWG)’s expanding training requirements up to 2020.
The simulator is based at (CTC) Aviation’s Crew Training Center at London Gatwick. Manufactured by (L-3) Link UK, the new simulator achieved Level-D certification with the (UKCAA) in July. Training will begin later this month, serving Norwegian (NWG)’s UK and Spanish based crews.
The 737-800W simulator (the highest specification RealitySeven model manufactured by (L-3) Link UK) joins a brand new Airbus A320 (L-3) Link simulator at the facility; bringing (CTC) Aviation’s full-flight simulator fleet total to six.
In May, (L-3) Communications (ESM) acquired the (CTC) Aviation Group, which is now known as (L-3) (CTC), for £143 million/$220 million).
September 2015: News Item A-1: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) will launch a 4x-weekly London (LGW) - Boston service May 13 with a Boeing 787-8.
News Item A-2: London’s Gatwick Airport has introduced a new booking service that enables connecting flights between low-cost and full-service airlines to be booked in a single transaction.
The new service, "GatwickConnects," also means the airport will “look after customers if flights don’t operate as planned,” Gatwick said. “This is the first time an airport has taken the lead to book and safeguard connections.”
Announcing the new service, Gatwick Airport (CEO), Stewart Wingate said: “We are uniquely placed to offer a service like GatwickConnects due to the breadth of our route network and our diverse short- and long-haul airline mix.”
Gatwick’s route network covers 11 UK regional and 190 international destinations, with around 1 million travelers a year connecting from low-cost carriers (LCC)s to other low-cost or full-service airlines. Until now, the transactions have had to be made separately, meaning there is no protection, if a flight is rescheduled or delayed.
Gatwick already offers a GatwickConnects airside check-in service for connecting customers of participating airlines, where travelers can drop their bags, and is adding a range of services and hospitality benefits.
“This new service will provide genuine savings, and we will offer travelers a range of hassle-free check-in, baggage handling and hospitality benefits while they are with us,” Wingate said.
Passengers traveling with easyJet (EZY), Norwegian (NWG) and (WOW) air are able to use GatwickConnects when booking through Skyscanner and Dohop.
News Item A-3: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) appointed Dominic Tucker as Head of Sales-UK. He joins Mitchell Hawes, Sales Manager-UK to bolster the fast-growing airline’s sales capacity and cement its growth in the UK.
October 2015: News Item A-1: Norwegian (NWG) has doubled its third quarter pre-tax profit and ordered 19 Boeing 787-9s, plus 10 options, in a deal valued at more than $5 billion at list prices.
The Oslo-headquartered carrier operates eight 787-8s and has 11 787-9s on order. With this latest commitment, Norwegian (NWG)’s long-haul fleet will grow to 38 787s by 2020.
“This order of 19 new 787-9 Dreamliners is a major milestone and enables Norwegian to offer a wide range of new routes to consumers worldwide. The order is also essential to further strengthening the company in the global competition,” Norwegian (CEO), Bjørn Kjos said.
(NWG), which launched long-haul, low-cost operations two years ago, said the new 787s will be used to launch new services and expand its network. Kjos said (NWG)’s long-haul load factors have “averaged in the nineties,” proving there is demand for budget flights from Europe to the USA and Asia.
Norwegian (NWG)’s 787-9s will have 344 seats, 35 in premium and 309 in economy, and deliveries from this order will start in 2017. Norwegian (NWG)’s asset company, Arctic Aviation Assets Ltd, will own the airplanes.
Boeing (TBC) said that the Norwegian (NWG) deal is the largest single 787-9 order from a European airline. “(NWG) has led the way in utilizing the exceptional performance of the 787 to develop a successful low-cost long-haul operation. The addition of 787-9s to the Norwegian (NWG) fleet will enable it to grow its route structure, while providing more range and capacity with outstanding passenger comfort,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA) VP European Sales, Todd Nelp said.
(NWG)’s order backlog now stands at more than >150 Boeing airplanes, including 100 737 MAXs, as well as 100 Airbus A320neos.
During the third quarter, (NWG) carried 7.7 million passengers, up +9% on the prior year period, boosted by 15% long-haul passenger growth that nudged its load factor up six points to 91%. Its pre-tax profit for the quarter doubled from +NOK505 million/+$61.9 million to +NOK1.1 billion, although the prior year was affected by exceptional items.
“The third quarter results show that (NWG)’s long-haul operations and international routes are becoming significantly more important. This is where we see most of the future growth potential, enabling the company to compete in a global market with strong competition,” Kjos said.
He added that UK expansion will continue to be at the forefront of Norwegian (NWG)’s long-term plans, although (NWG) has also seen considerable growth in Spain. The Nordic market is stable, with (NWG) seeing “a slight increase” in market share.
News Item A-2: Norwegian (NWG) used the first week of the W15/16 season to start six new routes from four of its bases, five of which were domestic Spanish routes. The average sector length of these routes was 2,251 km (with the longest route being the 4,126 km Gran Canaria (LPA) to Karlstad (KSD) airport pair), while the shortest was the 1,482 km link from Malaga to Tenerife South (TFS). The average weekly frequency of the new routes was four. Ryanair (RYR) provides competition on four of the six new routes, all with a matching or superior weekly frequency.
Barcelona (BCN) to Gran Canaria (LPA) 737-800 3x, vs Vueling (VUZ) 11x, & RyanAir (RYR) 4x, to Tenerife North (TFN) 737-800 4x, vs (VUZ) 10x;
Gran Canaria (LPA) to Karlstad (KSD) 737-800 1x.
Madrid (MAD) to (LPA) 737-800 7x, vs Iberia (IBE) 42x, Air Europa (ARE) 25x, (RYR) 14x, to (TFN) 737-800 7X, VS (ARE) 31x, (IBE) 29x, (RYR) 7x.
Malaga (AGP) to Tenerife South (TFS) 737-800 2x.
News Item A-3: European low-cost carriers (LCC) Norwegian (NWG) and Ryanair (RYR) are closing in on a cooperative agreement that would see (RYR) feeding passengers into (NWG)’s long-haul services operated by Norwegian Air International (NWG).
Norwegian (NWG)/(NAI) (CEO), Bjørn Kjos told "Bloomberg News" that negotiations with Ryanair (RYR) were proceeding and there could be an agreement “shortly.” “We’ve been in talks with [Norwegian] and a couple of other airlines,” said (RYR) spokesman, Robin Kiely. “It would primarily be for feeding their base at [London] Gatwick.”
(RYR) has also been talking about feeding traffic into Aer Lingus (ARL)’s transatlantic services at Dublin, (TAP) Portugal’s South American services in Lisbon, Virgin Atlantic (VAA)’s services at Gatwick and the International Airlines Group (parent company to British Airways (BAB) and Iberia (IBE)) at London Stansted. Currently, Stansted does not host any long-haul services.
However, any such arrangements would not be a standard interline agreement, where responsibilities tended to be split evenly between the partners, said Kiely. It would be up to the long-haul carrier to take responsibility for areas such as baggage transfer or any delays. Tickets for such services would probably be sold through Global Distribution Systems (GDS) arrangements: “You wouldn’t be able to go on to the Aer Lingus (ARL) website and buy a (RYR) ticket, for example. (RYR) would also be unlikely to alter its schedules or hold airplanes in the event of a late incoming long-haul service, Kiely said.
Negotiations were proceeding with several airlines, but he was unable to say which would mature first. However, there was likely to be something in place in time for the next northern hemisphere summer timetables, which begin in late March 2016.
With legacy carriers increasingly moving towards providing long-haul services and (RYR) in a position to deliver large quantities of passengers to long-haul hubs, such a move made sense, Kiely said.
“We have talked to several players at London Gatwick, including (RYR) and easyJet (EZY) about cooperating on smooth and affordable transfers from one airline to another,” said a Norwegian spokeswoman, “and we welcome any initiatives or partnerships that gives customers a greater choice. “We continue to have good discussions with (RYR) but nothing is agreed at this stage, and it is too early to speculate further.”
November 2015: News Item A-1: Norwegian (NWG) used the second week of the W15/16 season to start six new routes from five of its bases (including long-haul services from Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) and Stockholm Arlanda (ARN)). The average sector length of these routes is 4,290 kms (up from 2,251 last week) with the longest route being the 8,530 km Stockholm Arlanda to Las Vegas (LAS) airport pair (last week it was the 4,126 km Gran Canaria to Karlstad route), while the shortest was again a Spanish domestic rotation, this time with the 1,410 km link from Malaga (AGP) to Gran Canaria (LPA). The average weekly frequency of the new routes was 1.8, down significantly from last week’s result of four. This was due in no small part to the two new weekly long-haul operations.
Routes as follows:
Barcelona (BCN) to Fuerteventura (FUE), 737-800 3x, vs Vueling (VUZ) 4x, Ryanair (RYR) 3x;
Malaga (AGP) to Gran Canaria (LPA) 737-800 2x, vs (VUZ) 2x;
Oslo Gardermoen (OSL) to San Juan (SJU) 787-8 1x;
Stockholm Arlanda (ARN) to Las Vegas (LAS), 787-8 1x;
Tenerife South (TFS) to Birmingham (BHX), 737-800 2x, vs Monarch Airlines (MON) 7x, (RYR) 3x, Thomson Airways (ATZ)/(TFY, Thomas Cook Airlines (GUE)/(JMA) 3x, to Edinburgh (EDI) 737-800 2x, vs easyJet (EZY)3x, (RYR) 3x, (ATZ)/(TFY) 2x.
News Item A-2: "Norwegian (NWG) Eyes Expansion As It Gains UK (AOC)"
by (ATW) Alan Dron, November 13, 2015.
Low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) received an air operator’s certificate (AOC) from the British regulatory authorities, enabling it to grow its UK operations.
(NWG) has established a Norwegian UK subsidiary. This will allow it, as a UK-licensed operator, to make use of the country’s existing and future bilateral agreements. (NWG) is particularly keen to expand its long-haul services from London’s Gatwick Airport to Asia, South America, and South Africa.
(NWG) also flies from the UK regional airports of Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh and said it has flown 3.9 million UK passengers in the past year.
Since opening its Gatwick base in 2013, (NWG) has increased its presence there to 400 personnel as well as eight Boeing 737-800s and two 787-8s. The latter operate transatlantic (LCC) services to four USA cities (New York, Los Angeles, Orlando, and Fort Lauderdale) as well as to Puerto Rico. Boston will follow as the fifth USA destination in May 2016.
Its London operations are separate from those of long-haul subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI), which has an Irish (AOC), but whose attempts to gain permission to fly into the USA have stalled in the USA Department of Transportation, following strong opposition from USA airlines and pilots (FC) unions.
Its latest financial results shows (NWG)’s strongest growth in terms of passenger numbers was at Gatwick. This will increase further, if (NWG) reaches agreement with Ryanair (RYR) to feed short-haul passengers in to its long-haul operation there.
To handle growth, Norwegian (NWG) intends to station two 787-9s at the London base next year. “That will give us more capacity on long-haul routes (that’s where we are seeing expansion),” (NWG) UK spokesman, Chase Burns said.
It will formally start operations under the Norwegian UK name in the first quarter of 2016. “The British market continues to play a major role in Norwegian (NWG)’s growth,” added (NWG)’s (CEO), Bjørn Kjos. “Securing a UK operating license is great news and an important step to get a stronger foothold in the UK, as we plan for further expansion, new routes and new jobs.”
News Item A-3: "Norwegian (NWG) Switches On In-flight TV" by (ATW) Alan Dron, November 24, 2015.
Norwegian (NWG) has begun offering live television broadcasts to passengers on board its airplanes (the first in Europe to do so, it said). The service was launched NovEember 23 on an Oslo - Berlin flight and is being rolled out across (NWG)’s European network on board 87 Wi-Fi-equipped Boeing 737-800s.
Travelers can receive the service by using their own handheld devices to connect to (NWG)’s free in-flight Wi-Fi. Initially, they will have a choice between Norwegian-language "TV2 News," or business and financial information service "Bloomberg Television."
(NWG) (CEO), Bjørn Kjos said, “Introducing Bloomberg Television and TV 2 News to our passengers, opens the door to more content choices and a better overall in-flight experience. By offering free Wi-Fi combined with complementary live television, we are setting the stage for a passenger experience like no other in the sky.”
The service was developed by (NWG)’s frequent flyer program, "Norwegian Reward," and RiksTV (CEO), Christian Birkeland said to broadcast live TV on mobile devices “is a key part of our strategy.”
“Allowing travelers across the continent to follow the very latest market-moving stories live on Bloomberg Television, while in the air, will enable them to reach their destinations fully informed and primed for their day,” added Adam Freeman, Managing Director, Bloomberg Media, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
December 2015: News Item A-1: Norwegian (NWG) has begun flights between the USA and the Caribbean as it seeks to expand its USA interests, despite the continued delays in granting it permission to operate transatlantic services with its Ireland-based long-haul subsidiary, Norwegian Air International (NAI).
An application for (NAI) to operate across the Atlantic has been stalled in the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) for nearly two years, following strong opposition from USA carriers and trade unions.
However, Norwegian (NWG) can operate from USA cities to Guadeloupe and Martinique, as those are French possessions, and thus come under the existing "Open Skies" agreement between the USA and the European Union (EU).
Norway is not a member of the (EU), but became a party to the agreement in 2011.
Launching the first service between Boston and Martinique on December 3, (NWG) (CEO), Bjørn Kjos noted it was the first time for more than >20 years that direct services had existed between the northeast USA and the two French islands. (NWG) will use Boeing 737-800s for the routes.
Further services from New York and Baltimore/Washington are beginning this month. Kjos said that, since launching its initial USA services two years ago, reaction from USA consumers had been very positive. Additionally, “for Scandinavian travelers, the new lines that they can fly with (NWG) to New York or Boston, spend a few days in the big city with vibrant life and culture, and then fly on with us to the Caribbean, gives our customers new possibilities.”
(NWG) currently offers direct routes from the Scandinavian capitals and London to Puerto Rico and from Copenhagen to St Croix.
Kjos said that advance reservations for some of the new services “look very good.” He cautioned that booking horizons in the USA are fairly short, which meant that while bookings for December were good, it was more difficult to predict usage in February and March.
However, bookings from the Caribbean to New York, for example, are “very strong. In New York, you have more than one million people who have French as their mother tongue and we haven’t even touched French-speaking areas such as those in Canada.”
(NWG)’s new routes between the USA and the Caribbean are initially seasonal and will be served until April 2016, with 14 flights a week.
Norwegian (NWG) on December 3 became the latest entrant into the USA - Caribbean market when it launched flights between Boston (BOS) and Pointe-a-Pitre (PTP). The 3,037 km route, which will be served 2x-weekly on Thursdays and Sundays, was then followed by a further five routes connecting the Massachusetts hub, along with Baltimore/Washington (BWI) and New York JFK (JFK) to Pointe-a-Pitre and Fort de France (FDF). The six sectors that (NWG) has introduced to the USA - Caribbean market will operate either 2xe- or 3x-weekly utilizing (NWG)’s 737-800 fleet. What is surprising is that none of the routes introduced by Europe’s third largest low cost carrier (LCC) into the market will face any incumbent carriers. The introduction of these routes at Boston and Baltimore/Washington in the USA, and Pointe-a-Pitre and Fort de France in Caribbean are the first operations for (NWG) at all four airports. From next summer, (NWG) will introduce services from Boston to Oslo Gardermoen, Copenhagen, and London Gatwick. (NWG) has also publicly announced its intentions to launch services to the USA airport from Cork from May 2016.
These routes as follows:
Boston (BOS) to Pointe-a-Pitre (PTP), 737-800 2x-weekly;
New York (JFK) to Fort de France (FDF), 737-800 3x;
Baltimore/Washington (BWI) to (FDF), 737-800 2x;
(JFK) to (PTP), 737-800 3x;
(BWI) to (PTP), 737-800 2x;
(BOS) to (FDF), 737-800 2x.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) began Baltimore-Washington (BWI) - Martinique and – Guadeloupe services.
News Item A-2: Low-cost carrier (LCC), Norwegian (NWG) has retired its final Boeing 737-300. Its single-aisle fleet is now comprised entirely of the newer 737-800 model.
(NWG) flew its final 737-300 from UK maintenance site at Lasham, near London, to Bodø in northern Norway, the site of the National Aviation Museum of Norway, to which the airplane has been donated. It had been parked at Lasham for several months.
The airplane (LN-KKW) joined (NWG) as a second-hand airplane in 2006. Its last revenue flight was from Belgrade to Oslo in October 2014.
The airplane had operated 40,106 flights and spent 64,656 hours in the air. When it joined (NWG), the airline had 14 airplanes, 54 routes and 560 employees. Today, it has 102 airplanes, 439 routes and 5,500 employees.
”This airplane has been a faithful workhorse for Norwegian (NWG) since 2006 and it’s wonderful that it can continue living on at the National Aviation Museum,” said Captain Johnny Silberg, who piloted the airplane on its last flight with co-pilot, Olav Hynne.
At its high point, Norwegian (NWG)’s 737-300 fleet numbered 23 airplanes.
January 2016: "Unions React as Norwegian UK Applies for USA Flight Permits" by (ATW) Kurt Hofmann, January 8, 2016.
Low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian UK has applied to the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) for exemption authority and a foreign air carrier permit (FACP) to allow services between Europe and the USA, several media outlets have reported.
Some USA and European airline labor groups (including the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA), Allied Pilots Association (APA), and the European Cockpit Association (ECA)) have lobbied the (DOT), requesting additional information from Norwegian UK about its employment practices and business model. The unions said the subsidiary could be yet another attempt by (NWG) to use a flag of convenience, which undercuts labor standards, an allegation made against (NWG)’s Ireland-based subsidiary.
Last November, Norwegian (NWG) reported that its London operations are separate from its long-haul subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI), which has an Irish air operator’s certificate (AOC), but its attempts to gain permission to fly into the USA have stalled in the (DOT) following strong opposition from USA airlines and pilots (FC)’s unions.
(LCC) (NWG) has established a Norwegian UK subsidiary in England. In November 2015, (NWG) received an (AOC) from British regulatory authorities, enabling it to grow its UK operations.
Norwegian UK plans to begin long-haul service in the 1st quarter 2016. “Following the UK (AOC) granted to Norwegian, a UK application has been made to the USA Department of Transportation for a foreign carrier permit. This is an important step in our plans for continued growth, more routes and new jobs in the UK,” a Norwegian UK spokesperson in London confirmed.
“All current and future employees in our operation at UK bases will have contracts governed by UK employment law,” according to the spokesperson. Norwegian already has major operations and a large route network from UK airports, together with a base of >400 pilots (FC) and cabin attendant crew (CA) at London Gatwick. “So we look forward to the (DOT)’s consideration of the UK application. We currently have 10 airplanes based at London Gatwick,” he said.
Norwegian carried 25.7 million passengers in 2015, +2 million more than the previous year. The company took delivery of 11 new airplanes and launched several new routes, particularly long-haul services. It also launched domestic services in Spain and connected the USA East Coast with the French Caribbean. The 2015 load factor was 86% LF, up from 81% LF in 2014.
February 2016: New Item A-1: "Norwegian (NWG) Turns a Profit in 2015" by (ATW) Alan Dron, February 11, 2016.
Low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian (NWG) edged back into the black in 2015, recording a full-year profit of +NOK246.2 million/+$28.7 million, reversed from a loss of -NOK 1.07 billion in 2014.
Revenue for the year was up +15% at NOK 22.5 billion, compared to (NOK) 19.5 billion a year previously, with ancillary revenues growing faster, up +20.1% to NOK 3.3 billion compared to the previous 12 months. Passenger numbers rose +7% to 26 million, while load factor climbed +4% to 86% LF.
Capacity grew +5% to 49 billion (ASK)s, while (RPK)s climbed +12% to 42.2 billion.
The large loss in 2014 was put down to rapid expansion of Norwegian (NWG)’s fleet. Last year’s growth of just +5% “represented a breather in the company’s expansion, explained by fading out old airplanes while adding new airplanes to the fleet,” the company said.
Weaker figures toward the end of 2015 were attributed to a combination of adverse results on fuel hedging activities and the depreciation of the Norwegian currency against the dollar.
“We enter 2016 with favorable fuel costs and one of the youngest fleets in Europe, which presents a significant competitive advantage,” said (CEO) Bjørn Kjos, who warned of potential squalls on the horizon.
“We see a good demand for quality flights at affordable fares, but the unpredictable political decision to introduce passenger tax in Norway is creating an uncertain situation in this market. It is a paradox that the company with the lowest emissions seems to be punished the hardest.”
The tax, due to become effective from April 1, has already angered fellow-(LCC) Ryanair (RYR) and there have been fears that any cuts in services to airports that depend heavily on (LCC) operators, such as Oslo Rygge, could have a serious effect on the future of the airports.
News Item A-2: "Norwegian (NWG) to launch Paris - USA Services" by
(ATW) Alan Dron, February 19, 2016.
Low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) plans to launch a new batch of transatlantic routes from Paris Charles De Gaulle (CDG) this summer.
The new services will operate to New York (JFK) from July 29, Los Angeles (July 30) and Fort Lauderdale (August 4). New York will be operated 4x-weekly, Los Angeles 2x-weekly and Fort Lauderdale weekly.
(NWG) already operates long-haul services to the USA from the 3 Scandinavian capitals of Copenhagen, Oslo, and Stockholm, as well as from London Gatwick.
These, as well as the new services from Paris, are separate from the proposed services for which subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) has been trying to gain approval from the USA authorities for two years. USA airlines and unions have complained that (NAI) has been set up in Ireland to get around Norway’s rigorous labor legislation. This is denied by Norwegian. The UK backs Norwegian’s application to start USA flights.
Norwegian (NWG) already operates short-haul flights from Paris Orly to 5 Nordic destinations. However, it decided to use Paris (CDG) for its new long-haul services: “Orly Airport has heavy slot constraints, which made it impossible for Norwegian to get the number of slots required to launch a long-haul operation there.”
The flights will be served by (NWG)’s Boeing 787s in a 2-class configuration (32PY seats in premium class and 259Y in economy.
“The choice of Paris as our 5th European long-haul capital clearly underlines our commitment to France,” said Bjørn Kjos, (NWG)’s (CEO). “Paris is one of Europe’s main gateways, and we see great potential to expand at Charles De Gaulle Airport in the future, adding more long-haul routes as well as more frequencies.”
With the addition of the new routes from Paris (CDG), (NWG) will operate 31 routes from 12 airports in France, as well as the French territories of Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean.
In 2015, (NWG) carried 967,000 passengers in France, up +4.4% on 2014.
“Aéroports de Paris welcomes the fact that (NWG) has chosen Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to launch its 1st long-haul direct flight from France,” said Franck Goldnadel, Executive Director Chief Airport Operations Officer, at Paris (CDG). “As a result of this choice, we are able to diversify our long-haul offering from Terminal 1.”
News Item A-3: Norwegian (NWG) marked 5 years of in-flight Wi-Fi by releasing a study on Europe’s in-flight Internet surfing habits. The study showed a 3rd of passengers log into social media within 5 minutes of a flight; >18,000 passengers log onto its Wi-Fi every day; >19 million passengers have logged in at 35,000 ft since 2011; German passengers are the most keen to get online, followed by Swedish and Danish passengers.
News Item A-4: Norwegian (NWG) has selected Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 1000) engines for its 19 new Boeing 787-9s, which were ordered in October 2015. (RRC) valued the engine order at $2.7 billion and includes TotalCare long-term service support the new 787s.
The order also includes TotalCare for (Trent 1000) engines that will power 11 previously announced leased Boeing 787s yet to enter service.
(NWG) also has options for 10 further airplanes which, if confirmed, will be powered by the (Trent 1000).
March 2016: News Item A-1: Norwegian (NWG) begins Baltimore - Washington (BWI) (2x-weekly), Boston (2x-weekly), and New York (JFK) (3x-weekly) to Guadeloupe and Martinique on November 10.
News Item A-2: Norwegian (NWG) (CEO) Bjorn Kjos is considering placing a follow-on order for more Boeing 787-9s in “a couple of years,” which he would use to expand its London Gatwick operation.
However, Kjos cautioned that this growth depends on Norwegian (NWG) securing more slots at the south London airport, which would require a second runway to be built. Heathrow (LHR) and Gatwick are both battling to secure an extra runway, a decision that rests with the UK government.
Norwegian (NWG) operates nine 787s, 8 of which are the smaller 747-8 variant. With (NWG)’s current order book, this will grow to a total 787 fleet of 40 airplanes over the next 3 years. Some of these airplanes are leased.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Aviation Club lunch in London on March 17, Kjos said Norwegian (NWG) would ideally like to operate 50 787s from London Gatwick. This will require a fresh order. “That is just Gatwick. We would like to operate at least 50 787 Dreamliners from Gatwick, provided we have the slots. We need another runway,” he said. Norwegian (NWG) added it was also willing to add 100 short-haul aircraft to its Gatwick base. Norwegian (NWG) is Gatwick’s third largest airline.
“This is by far the most significant and positive intervention by an airline in the expansion debate to date,” Gatwick (CEO) Stewart Wingate said. When asked about whether Norwegian (NWG) could acquire another airline to expand its Gatwick slot portfolio, Kjos replied: “I don’t think we can get that many slots, even if we acquire them [through another airline].”
Any follow-on order would purely be for 787-9s, rather than the 787-8 variant. “The 787-9 has a lower seat cost and we only go with seat costs,” he said. However, Kjos has no plans to dispose of (NWG)’s eight 787-8s. “We need them [787-8s] to open new routes; they are very good for new markets.”
(NWG)’s order for 100 737 MAXs will also help with its long-haul expansion, as it plans to operate the 737s on transatlantic services.
Kjos said (NWG) has enough short-haul aircraft in its order pipeline, so there is no immediate need for a follow-on narrow body order. The short-haul airplanes it has already committed to will be used for long-haul feed. “We need between 50 and 100 more short-haul airplanes in operation, just to take transfer passengers,” he said.
From Gatwick, (NWG) operates long-haul services to Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, and New York, with plans to add Boston and Oakland (San Francisco) this year.
News Item A-3: Norwegian (NWG) is now leasing an additional +2 new Boeing 787-9s for its growing long-haul operations.
The new aircraft are being acquired from lessor AerCap (DEA) and are scheduled to be delivered in 2018. With this new agreement, (NWG)’s long-haul fleet will consist of 40 Dreamliners by 2020.
“In order to offer customers more routes and make our intercontinental operation even more competitive, we are dependent on more brand new cost-efficient airplanes,” (NWG) (CEO) Bjørn Kjos said. “Our intercontinental operation is crucial to the company’s global growth and the creation of new jobs."
At present, (NWG) operates 8 787-8s and 1 787-9.
Norwegian flew almost 26 million passengers in 2015, a record figure for (NWG). It operates a series of transatlantic services from Scandinavia and the UK to the USA, but efforts to begin operations from Ireland to the USA with a new subsidiary have been stalled for >2 years at the USA Department of Transportation.
USA carriers and unions say the Irish operation is designed to circumvent Norway’s strict labor laws, a claim Norwegian denies.
April 2016: News Item A-1: Norwegian (NWG) has reported a 1st-quarter net loss of -NOK800 million/-$96 million, widened from a net loss of -NOK538.3 million a year ago. Revenue for the period was up +23% at NOK4.96 billion, compared to NOK4.03 billion last time.
Fast-expanding (NWG), which has a large European short-haul network and an increasing number of long-haul (primarily transatlantic) sectors saw (ASK)s rise +17% in (1Q) to 11.8 billion. However, passenger numbers more than kept pace, with (RPK)s up +20% at 10 billion.
Passenger numbers increased +17%, rising to 5.82 million compared to 4.96 million a year ago, with load factor of 85% LF, up +2 points, a record for the quarter that is traditionally the lowest-demand period of the year.
Norwegian (NWG) said the increased losses were the result of a combination of a weakening of the Norwegian krone against the dollar and the effects of fuel-hedging contracts. Together, these contributed to losses of -NOK528 million.
(NWG) reported its strongest growth from its London Gatwick base, from which many of its long-haul services operate. “The long-haul operations are becoming significantly more important,” (CEO) Bjørn Kjos said. “We also see growth in the Nordics and in Europe in general.”
(NWG)’s long-haul operations will strengthen further if the USA (DOT)’s recent tentative approval for new transatlantic services by the airline’s Ireland-based long-haul subsidiary, Norwegian Air International (NAI) survives objections from USA carriers and trade unions. The deadline for such objections is May 6.
“We also see that the Scandinavian and European route networks both play an increasingly important role in our long-haul strategy, as many of our passengers connect from short-haul to long-haul and vice versa,” Kjos said. This connectivity may increase if an agreement between the Oslo-based carrier and Ireland-based (LCC) rival, Ryanair (RYR) for the latter to feed short-haul passengers into Norwegian (NWG)’s long-haul flights is consummated.
Kjos added that increasing numbers of business (C) travelers were choosing (NWG) for flights, which would repeat a pattern seen in recent years with (LCC)s (RYR) and easyJet (EZY). Kjos said (NWG) had signed agreements with several large corporations in recent months to provide travel for staff.
News Item A-2: Norwegian (NWG) begins 2x-weekly, Manchester - Barcelona on April 30, 4x-weekly, Manchester - Malaga (June 2) and 2x-weekly Manchester - Alicante (June 3). Edinburgh - Barcelona begins June 15 with 737-800s. Norwegian (NWG) also begins 3x-weekly, summer London (LGW) - Crete 737-800 service on April 28.
May 2016: Norwegian (NWG) has firmed up 8 Boeing 737 MAX 8 purchase options and agreed to lease +2 more 787-9s.
(NWG) has 100 737 MAX 8s on order and options on a further 100, 8 of which are now firmed.
It has also signed an agreement with (CIT) Aerospace (TCI) to lease 2 787-9s, which will be delivered in spring 2018, taking it to a total of 42 787s by 2020.
(NWG) has been incrementally increasing its leased 787 commitments over the last few months. It currently operates 8 787-8s and 2787-9s.
“In order to offer customers more routes and make our intercontinental operation even more competitive, we need more brand-new, cost-efficient airplanes. Our intercontinental operation is crucial to the company’s global growth and the creation of new jobs,” (NWG) (CEO) Bjørn Kjos said.
In March 2016, Kjos said he was considering placing a follow-on order for more 787-9s in “a couple of years.” Any follow-on order would be for 787-9s, rather than the -8 variant, although Kjos has no plans to dispose of (NWG)’s 8 787-8s.
Norwegian (NWG) would ideally like to operate 50 787s from London Gatwick alone, but the airport is capacity constrained, limiting (NWG)’s ambitions.
The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) recently gave tentative permission for (NWG)'s Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) to serve the USA, >2 years after (NAI) applied for a foreign air carrier permit. When the permit is finalized, (NAI) plans to begin operations to the USA, including the 1st-ever service between Cork, Ireland, and Boston.
June 2016: News Item A-1: Norwegian (NWG) is to lease a British 757 this summer.
July 2016: News Item A-1: "(DOT) Denies Norwegian (NWG)/(NAI) UK Temporary Authority to Fly to the USA" by (ATW) Aaron Karp, July 1, 2016.
The USA Department of Transportation (DOT) has dismissed Norwegian UK (NWG)/(NAI)’s request for an exemption to fly to the USA while the (DOT) reviews the Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) subsidiary’s application for a permanent foreign air carrier permit.
The review of London Gatwick-based Norwegian UK is separate from the (DOT)’s review of Norwegian Air International (NAI) seeking a foreign air carrier permit to operate to the USA, though the (DOT) acknowledges there are “overlapping types of issues” in the 2 cases. The (DOT) tentatively approved (NAI)’s foreign air carrier permit in April, but final approval has still not come amid a bevy of objections from USA and European airlines plus labor unions, prominently including the Air Line Pilots Association (ALPA) and the European Cockpit Association.
Norwegian UK was granted an operating certificate by the UK Civil Aviation Authority in November. It had asked the (DOT) to allow it to operate transatlantic flights, while the department reviews its application for a permanent permit to fly between the UK and the USA, which the airline believes it is entitled to under the (EU) - USA "Open Skies" agreement that also includes Norway and Iceland.
The (DOT) said it does not view granting Norwegian UK (NWG) temporary permission to fly to the USA “appropriate or in the public interest,” citing “novel and complex” issues raised by Norwegian UK’s foreign air carrier permit application.
“Norwegian UK’s application thereby remains pending, but Norwegian [Air Shuttle] (NWG) is confident that [Norwegian UK] will receive its permanent authority,” Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) said. “Norwegian UK should be entitled to a foreign carrier permit under the terms of the "Open Skies" agreement. Norwegian’s USA flights currently operate under the Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) air operator certificate (AOC), which allows the airline to operate between the USA and Europe. With USA approval for Norwegian UK, the airline will be able to more effectively utilize its long-haul fleet and establish a seamless operation, including the use of the same aircraft on both USA and other long-haul routes to destinations such as Asia, South Africa, and South America, which currently all other European airlines can.”
(ALPA) President, Tim Canoll said the (DOT) “took a stand for fair competition” in dismissing Norwegian UK’s request for temporary authority to serve the USA, adding, “USA airline pilots (FC) commend the (DOT) for seeking to ensure that foreign airlines do not gain an unfair economic advantage in competing against USA airlines.”
September 2016: Norway’s Oslo Airport, Gardermoen, has opened its new domestic arrivals hall, the 1st stage of a major redevelopment plan. Arriving domestic passengers will be served by a hall some 15,000 sq m larger than the old facility and “will benefit all who arrive at Norway’s main airport,” airport owner Avinor’s (CEO) Dag Falk-Petersen said.
Passengers arriving from abroad will still be using the existing arrivals hall. As part of the redevelopment program, the old domestic arrivals hall will become the new international arrivals hall. There will be significantly more space for passengers and airlines using the airport. “We will have 5 additional baggage belts, increasing the total number to 13,” Falk-Petersen said.
The airport handles some 24 million passengers and >235,000 aircraft movements annually. The new domestic arrivals hall opened on schedule and on budget. “This would not be possible without the considerable effort of our employees,” Oslo Airport Managing Director Øyvind Hasaas said. “An efficient airport is important to many people, and this has really motivated us during the expansion process.” The redevelopment will also include a much-expanded departures hall and a new, 300-m-long 3rd pier that will handle both domestic and international flights at 17 parking spots, 11 of which will be equipped with airbridges. This North Pier extends across existing taxiways, which has required the construction of a completely new taxiway system at the airport. Construction work will continue in many areas of the facility until the formal opening of the completed airport on April 27, 2017.
December 2016: News Item A-1: In a decision released December 2, 2016, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) finally granted European low cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian Air International (NAI) a permit that will allow it to expand flights to the USA, despite fierce opposition from large USA airlines and labor groups.
(NAI) and its parent company, Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) are big Boeing customers. They already fly >100 737s in Europe and 10 787s on long-haul international flights to the USA and Asia, plus having outstanding orders for +31 737s, 108 new 737 MAXs and +19 more 787s.
(NAI) applied 3 years ago for a foreign-air-carrier permit for a subsidiary based in Ireland that would allow it to seamlessly operate its long-haul fleet between destinations in the USA, Europe and Asia.
The final order states that the bilateral "Open Skies" agreement between the USA and Europe (which opened up and deregulated airline routes) requires the (DOT) to grant Norwegian (NAI) approval.
(NAI) said it will add a Paris - Orlando flight this summer with fares starting at $229 one-way. With the (DOT) certificate, (NAI) can now fly from Bangkok to London, then on to New York, without ever touching down in Oslo. (NAI) is seeking initially to fly from Cork, Ireland, to Boston, and later from Cork to New York.
The (DOT) had granted (NAI) tentative approval last April, but left the application hanging through the rest of this year, prompting sharp criticism from the European Commission (EC). “This case is among the most novel and complex ever undertaken by the Department,” the (DOT) said. “We have taken the necessary amount of time to review and consider the comments from a wide range of stakeholders. Regardless of our appreciation of the public policy arguments raised by opponents, we have been advised that the law and our bilateral obligations leave no avenue to reject this application. We found that the clear weight of legal analysis in this case directs us to uphold the tentative findings and conclusions previously made.”
News Item A-2: "Norwegian (NAI) to Act on Transatlantic Approval" by
Victoria Moores email@example.com, December 5, 2016.
Norwegian Group’s Irish (LCC) subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) is planning to launch transatlantic flights from Cork after finally receiving its long-awaited USA approval.
Separately, Oslo-based Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has announced a significant ramp-up in its transatlantic services from London Gatwick.
Norway is not a European Union (EU) member and Dublin-headquartered (NAI) was set up to give Norwegian (NWG) a foothold in the (EU) and access to full (EU) traffic rights.
Under the (EU) - USA Air Transport Agreement, both sides are meant to “swiftly” grant authorizations; however, the (EU) was forced to intervene in June 2014 because of delays on the USA clearance. After a controversial 3-year wait, which put pressure on (EU) - (USA) relations, the permit was tentatively approved in April and reluctantly finalized December 2. “This approval finally makes it possible for us to plan the Cork to the USA routes we, and many others, have been looking forward to. We also now look forward to our foreign carrier permit for Norwegian Air UK (NUK) being approved next,” a Norwegian spokesperson said.
The spokesperson described the delays as “unfortunate and unnecessary,” adding the clearance will increase flights, jobs and competition and pave the way for Norwegian’s expansion.
Aside from the developments in Cork, Norwegian (NAI) is ramping up existing transatlantic services from London Gatwick from 22 to 34 weekly flights (a +55% increase). “The airline (NUK) has more than doubled its long-haul passengers from London Gatwick in the past year and will continue its rapid UK growth in 2017,” Norwegian said.
From April, Norwegian will boost London Gatwick - Los Angeles services from 5x-weekly to daily, Fort Lauderdale from weekly to 2x-weekly, Oakland - San Francisco from 3x-weekly to 5x-weekly, and Orlando from 2x-weekly to 3x-weekly. From August, it will also move New York from daily to 2x-daily, excluding Wednesdays, which will have just 1 frequency. “Customer demand shows low-cost, long-haul flights are here to stay,” Norwegian (CCO) Thomas Ramdahl said. “With +9 more 787 Dreamliners entering our fleet next year, this will be just the beginning of our UK expansion.”
Norwegian operates 450 routes to 138 destinations in Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Thailand, the USA and the Caribbean. “All current long-haul routes [including the Gatwick increases) are operated by our main Oslo-based Norwegian [Norwegian Air Shuttle] (NWG). The permit now granted by our Irish subsidiary (NAI) offers us more flexibility on how we may operate long-haul routes in the future, but there’s no immediate changes,” Norwegian’s London-based spokesman said.
News Item A-3: "Norwegian to Detail Ireland - USA plans in Eearly 2017" by Victoria Moores (ATW) Plus, December 6, 2016.
Irish long-haul, low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian Air International (NAI) is to fly from Cork and Shannon and open 2 USA bases after securing its USA foreign air carrier permit. “It [the USA Department of Transportation (DOT) clearance granted December 2] surprised me. I've been waiting for 3 years, so it shouldn't have come as a surprise,” Norwegian (NWG) (CEO) Bjorn Kjos said on the sidelines of the "Future of Air Transport" conference in London.
News Item A-4: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG)’s lessor subsidiary Arctic Aviation Assets (AAA) has taken delivery of its 1st Airbus aircraft, the 1st of 70 A320neos the Norwegian Group has on order.
It is also the 1st of 12 A320neos that will be leased to Hong Kong carrier HK Express (HKE). “This delivery is a milestone for us as it is the 1st of many Airbus aircraft to be delivered in the near future,” (AAA) (CEO) Tore Jenssen said. The new aircraft will be used to expand (HKE)'s route network.
(NWG) also plans to become an Airbus operator itself in the near future; until now an all-Boeing operator, with 737-800s, 787-8 and -9s, (AAA) earlier this year placed an order for 30 A321 long-range aircraft. 8 of these are scheduled to be delivered in 2019 and the remaining 22 in the following 2 years.
The A321LRs are designed to handle Norwegian’s expansion plans and future long-haul network, in terms of size, range and fuel efficiency. The new aircraft type has a longer range than the A320neo, is more fuel efficient and will seat approximately 220 passengers. This aircraft will enable new route launches, typically between the USA east coast and Europe as well as between Scandinavia and parts of Asia.
January 2017: Fast-expanding low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian (NWG) plans to take 9 Boeing 787-9s and its 1st 737 MAX in 2017, using some extra capacity to add its first long-haul, low-cost flights between the UK and non-USA destinations.
(nwg), the Oslo-based (LCC) said 2017 will be its “busiest ever year,” with over >30 airplane deliveries, including its 1st 737 MAX, which is scheduled to arrive during the summer. “(NWG) will become the 1st European airline to fly the new Boeing 737 MAX this summer to kick-start a new era in transatlantic travel. These single-aisle airplanes can fly longer distances, offering customers potential never before seen routes from Europe to the east coast of the USA at very attractive fares. Norwegian (NWG) plans to announce a series of transatlantic routes from UK cities to the USA east coast early in 2017,” (NWG) said.
This summer, (NWG) will increase its UK - USA flights by +55%, totaling 34 direct weekly flights from London Gatwick. These routes include Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, New York, Oakland - San Francisco and Orlando. While (NWG) already serves Bangkok from Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm, all its UK-originating long-haul routes are transatlantic. “(NWG) plans to announce its 1st [UK] non-USA long-haul routes later this year once plans are finalized,” (NWG) said. In late 2016, (NWG)’s Irish subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) was granted a USA foreign air carrier permit after 3 years of waiting, giving (NAI) access to transatlantic flights using an European Union (EU) air operator’s certificate (AOC).
February 2017: News Items A-1: Low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian (NWG) reported a 2016 net profit of +NOK1.1 billion/+$131.6 million, more than quadrupling its +NOK246 million net result in 2015. Full-year revenue for (NWG) rose +15.8% to NOK26.1 billion. (NWG) (CEO) Bjørn Kjos described the results as “our best ever.”
(NWG)’s 2016 operating expenses increased +6.9% to NOK20.1 billion; full-year operating profit was +NOK1.8 billion, a fivefold increase over +NOK347.8 million in 2015 operating income.
Passenger traffic increased +20.1% year-over-year (YOY) to 50.8 billion (RPK)s. Capacity grew +18.1% (YOY) to 57.9 billion (ASK)s, resulting in an 87.7% LF load factor, up +1.5 points from 2015. Yield was down -5% to NOK0.42; (RASK) decreased -3% to NOK0.36; and (CASK) ex-fuel rose +2% to NOK 0.32. Ancillary revenue per passenger increased +5.5% (YOY) to NOK134.
(NWG) said its full-year results were influenced by international expansion. (NWG) increased its presence in Spain and the UK, and in December 2016, (NWG)’s Ireland-based subsidiary Norwegian Air International (NAI) was granted approval by the USA Department of Transportation to start transatlantic flights between Ireland and the USA.
(NWG) took delivery of 17 new Boeing 737-800s, +4 new 787-9s and 2 Airbus A320neos in 2016 and opened 34 new routes, including 9 new intercontinental routes. (NWG) intends to launch >50 new routes in 2017, including several USA - Barcelona routes and a San Francisco - Copenhagen route. It will use the new 737 MAX airplane on intercontinental routes.
For 2017, (NWG) expects capacity to grow +30%, with plans to add 32 airplanes to its fleet, including 9 787-9s, 17 737-800Ws and 6 737 MAX 8s, the 1st of which is scheduled for delivery in the summer of 2017. Additionally, 3 Airbus A320s are scheduled to be delivered in 2017, which (NWG) will lease to HK Express (CRY).
“[2016 was] a year of strong international growth, establishing operations in new markets and tough competition,” Kjos said. “We enter 2017 with the ambition to increase and strengthen our foothold in established markets, while simultaneously developing our route network in new parts of the world.”
787-9 Dreamliner (37307, LN-LNI) delivery.
News Item A-2: Norwegian (NWG) plans to open +2 more USA bases, which are in addition to New York (JFK) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airports. “We have 22 bases right now. Most of them are in Europe, 1 is in Bangkok [Thailand] and 2 are in the USA, which we plan to double,” (NWG) (CEO) Bjorn Kjos said on the sidelines of the "Airlines 4 Europe" summit in Brussels. He declined to give details on where the additional bases will be located.
News Item A-3: Irish low-cost carrier (LCC) Ryanair (RYR) and (LCC) Norwegian (NWG) plan to start joint feeder flights from summer 2017 onward.
See photo: "NWG-1-Bjorn Kjos - RYR Michael O’Leary-2017-02.jpg."
787-8 (37307, LN-LNI), ex-(EI-LNI) delivery.
News Item A-4: Low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian (NWG) has unveiled new routes from 5 cities in the UK and Ireland to USA destinations, starting in June, as it continues its rapid expansion. (NWG), which will operate Boeing 737 MAX aircraft configured with single-class economy (Y) cabins on the routes, said it was launching 10 new routes with 38 weekly transatlantic flights, and that prices would start at €69/$73 one way.
April 2017: News Item A-1: Low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian (NWG) will begin 4x-weekly London Gatwick - Seattle, Washington services from September 17, and 3x-weekly flights to Denver, Colorado from September 16. (NWG), the (LCC) plans to operate Boeing 787s, with up to 344 seats in a 2-class configuration, on the routes.
(NWG) said the new destinations reflect the huge consumer demand on both sides of the Atlantic. Norwegian (NWG) (CCO) Thomas Ramdahl said its USA flights are >90% full and the Denver service will “break the monopoly on UK flights to Denver. ”He added that (NWG)’s global expansion is also creating jobs in the air and on the ground in Europe and the USA.
Norwegian (NWG) carries 5.2 million UK passengers each year from London Gatwick, Edinburgh, Birmingham and Manchester to 50 destinations. (NWG) is the 3rd largest airline at London Gatwick, with 4.6 million yearly passengers, and with >800 UK-based pilots (FC) and cabin crew (CA). (NWG) currently services 9 USA destinations.
In December 2016, Norwegian (NWG) obtained permission from the USA Department of Transportation to operate USA services with its Ireland-based Norwegian Air International (NAI) subsidiary. (CEO) Bjorn Kjos confirmed that 2 new USA bases would be located in Providence, Rhode Island, and New York’s Stewart International Airport, in addition to existing bases in New York (JFK) and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International airports.
This year, Kjos expects Norwegian (NWG) will transport close to 35 million passengers on 500 routes. (NWG) is Europe’s 3rd-largest (LCC), carrying 30 million passengers annually to >140 global destinations. (NWG) operates 118 airplanes and >260 airplanes on order. It plans to take delivery of 9 Boeing 787s, 6 737 MAXs and 17 737-800s this year.
News Item A-2: "London - Singapore Unveiled as Norwegian UK (NUK)’s 1st Route" by (ATW) Victoria Moores firstname.lastname@example.org, April 20, 2017.
Norwegian (NWG)/(NAI)/(NUK) is continuing its controversial long-haul expansion with the addition of a London Gatwick - Singapore long-haul low-cost route, operated by its new UK airline, Norwegian UK (NUK).
Gatwick-based (NUK) has its own air operator’s certificate (AOC), which was set up in 2015 to access traffic rights in Asia, Africa and South America. “The UK is at the heart of Norwegian (NWG)’s ambitious plans for growth, so it is a significant moment not only to launch this exciting new route, but also for it to be the 1st long-haul route to take to the skies with our new Norwegian UK (NUK) subsidiary,” Norwegian (NWG) (CEO) Bjorn Kjos said.
London - Singapore, which is also Norwegian (NWG)/(NUK)’s 1st UK - Asia link, will be operated 4x-weekly by Boeing 787s from September 28, increasing to 5x-weekly in the winter. “With a huge airplane order and new traffic rights in place, the new Singapore route marks the 1st step in Norwegian (NWG)’s ambitions to expand its existing long-haul network into a range of new global markets.”
(NWG)/(NUK) already serves 9 USA destinations from Gatwick, which Kjos said have attached “huge demand.”
Rapidly expanding Norwegian (NWG)/(NAI)/(NUK) operates 450 routes to 140 destinations in Europe, the USA and Asia. In 2016, (NWG)/(NAI) carried almost 30 million passengers.
News Item A-3: "Flying Long Haul with Norwegian" by Victoria Moores in "Need I say Moores" April 19, 2017.
Norwegian (NWG)/(NAI)/(NUK)’s long-haul expansion has made headlines on both sides of the Atlantic, but is the product any good? The simple answer is yes, but.
After writing about the politics of the Norwegian long-haul debate, I finally got to experience their long-haul product 1st hand. The flight was booked as a normal fare-paying passenger; this wasn’t a press trip.
Norwegian wasn’t the only option for my London - New York trip, but they had the best fare at £334.30/$422.92, which drew me in. By the time I got my payment card out, £100 in ancillaries had been added to the bill (one checked bag, allocated seating and an in-flight meal on each leg).
I rarely buy add-ons and wouldn’t have chosen all these services, but they were cheaper bundled (£50 each way) and I wasn’t sure if my cabin bag would fit the weight restrictions. Frankly, I was impressed they’d got me to part with my money. The £434.30 fare was still more than competitive and the booking process was simple, clean and clear. I received text message updates throughout my trip.
The only downside of my outbound flight was the lack of an on line check-in option. This may have been user error, but I travel a fair bit and it wasn’t obvious. At Gatwick, I used self-service check-in, which was quick and easy. The same wasn’t true for my return from (JFK), where I used a kiosk and went to security, where I was told I needed a hand luggage approval stamp on my boarding card. If there is a process that needs to be followed, it helps if you tell the passenger in advance.
I returned to check in (at (JFK)) and joined a huge queue. When I got to the desk, I was told extremely bluntly that my cabin bag was too heavy and had to go in the hold. This was not at all unexpected (I'd anticipated it when I booked), but the abruptness was absolutely unnecessary. The check in experience definitely needs work.
Back to my outbound flight and, at Gatwick, the boarding process was smooth and tightly managed. Once on board, Norwegian did something I’ve not experienced with any other airline; they promoted their aircraft. The main automated briefing explained the benefits of the 787 in simple, passenger-friendly terms (including its cabin altitude, the “sunglasses mode” dimmable windows and even where the toilets are located. Passengers are unlikely to know the benefits of a new aircraft unless you tell them. Nicely done).
They also ran through how the product works. When you change the script, people feel uncomfortable, so teaching them what to expect is helpful. Any on board purchases (including paid blankets and headphones) are made through the in-flight entertainment (IFE) system. They encourage you to use the system as though you’re ordering cinema refreshments to be delivered to your seat. It’s very slick; passengers just swipe their payment card once to pay for any extras. This is clever marketing. If you have to physically pay every time, you will spend less.
Norwegian made a name for itself by being pretty much the only European low-cost carrier to offer free WiFi on its short-haul flights, so the lack of WiFi on long-haul was a bit surprising. I typically don’t use (IFE), but I did on this flight (using my own headphones) and it worked well.
I pre-ordered food when I booked my flight and the experience was just like a regular long-haul flight, with a drinks trolley service and 2 meals delivered at the normal times. The crew (CA) were friendly and approachable.
I couldn’t fault the service I had up until this point, but the extremely high standard set by the outbound flight made the return very disappointing. 3 days before my departure from New York, I was told that the return flight would be operated by an A330 from Spanish wet-lease operator Wamos Air. Wamos who? I had ever heard of this airline, although I knew their predecessor brand, Air Pullmantur.
To be fair on Norwegian, I was given fair warning and the option of free rebooking or a refund. “The in-flight entertainment is limited,” they said, and I was sent a text message giving me a link to download some content. By limited, they meant none. Not only no seatback screens, but no central screens, airline-supplied portable devices, or anything at all, not even a headphone jack. I haven’t had that on a long-haul flight since the 1980s.
The Wamos flight was lacking in terms of basic in-flight comfort too. It was an overnight flight, but there weren’t even blankets or pillows. Paid or unpaid, it wasn’t an option in economy. These absolute basics were only available for business passengers. Meanwhile, meals were served to everyone, whether you’d paid or not. Wamos Air is simply not equipped to replicate Norwegian’s buy on board model.
Norwegian has had the Wamos Air A330 on wet lease since March 31, covering London - New York for a 787 which is undergoing repairs and won’t be back in service until April 24. A Norwegian spokesperson said the airline wanted to offer passengers an option to fly, rather than cancelling the service outright. The airline apologised for the change and accepted that it may not meet customer expectations.
I was very satisfied with my booking experience, the outbound flight in its entirety and the level of communication from Norwegian. The return was disappointing (and would have been worse on a non-night flight) but this wasn’t Norwegian’s normal product.
I would fly with Norwegian on long-haul again without hesitation and would even re-route to use them, within reason. They’ve set the bar high for their more expensive rivals, who are right to be worried about this relative newcomer’s expansion. Forget about politics, let the market decide.
May 2017: News Item A-1: Norwegian (NWG) is continuing its long-haul expansion by studying long-haul routes from Germany, although (NWG) the low cost carrier (LCC) would not confirm specific routes. “(NWG) is growing in Germany,” a spokesperson in Oslo said. “Also, 250 [ordered] airplanes are coming to (NWG). We see a potential for long-haul flights from Germany,” she said.
(NWG) has 30 Airbus A321LR aircraft on firm order, which could potentially be used on a German route. The A321LR has a range of up to 4,000 nm, making it suitable for routes between the USA east coast and Europe. “The A321LR makes it much easier [to open new long-haul routes],” the spokesman pointed out. “But so far we have no specifics on if (NWG) would operate routes, for example, from Frankfurt, Hamburg or other German cities.”
Rapidly expanding (NWG) operates 450 routes to 140 destinations in Europe, the USA and Asia. In 2016, the airline carried nearly 30 million passengers.
Separately, Norwegian (NWG) said on May 4 that its subsidiary, Arctic Aviation Assets (AAA), completed financing of 6 Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes with an insurance guaranteed financing product. This covers all Boeing 737 MAX 8 scheduled deliveries this year.
A total of 15 new Boeing 737-800s, which will be delivered from January through June this year, are to be financed through sale and leaseback. In addition, 1 Airbus A320neo has been financed with commercial debt. Of the 9 new Boeing 787-9s (AAA) will take delivery of this year, 5 will be leased. The financing of the remaining 4 787s will soon be finalized using export credits.
News Item A-2: Low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian (NWG) has secured board approval on plans to launch Latin American startup Norwegian Air Argentina. (NWG) established an Argentinian subsidiary in January 2017 and has submitted an air operator’s certificate (AOC) application to the government. “In the application, (NWG) outlines plans for a considerable operation, including domestic and international flights,” (NWG) said on May 9.
In this latest development, (NWG) has given the green light for Norwegian Air Argentina’s “plans of operation.” “Following today’s board approval, (NWG) will immediately begin to hire administrative staff in Argentina. Recruitment of crew will commence in late summer. Pending government approval, the 1st new routes will be announced and available for sale by year-end 2017,” (NWG) said. Norwegian Air Argentina does not have an official start date yet, as it is dependent on government approvals.
“Argentina is an interesting market with great potential that fits Norwegian (NWG)’s global strategy very well, combining affordable domestic and international flights. I am looking forward to continue working on realizing our plans of establishing new bases, hiring many new colleagues in Argentina and not least offering low fares to the people. We have been very well received by Argentinian authorities and look forward to a fruitful relationship going forward,” Norwegian Air Argentina (CEO) Ole Christian Melhus said.
(NWG)/(NAI)/(NUK) operates 450 routes to 140 destinations in Europe, the USA and Asia, carrying almost 30 million passengers in 2016.
News Item A-3: Norwegian (NWG)/(NAI)/(NUK) has revealed its maiden Boeing 737 MAX which pays tribute to aviation entrepreneur and pioneer Sir Freddie Laker. The carrier has a long history of honoring iconic figures on the tails of its airplanes, noting the personalities displayed on its jets "symbolize the spirit of Norwegian through innovation, challenging the norm and inspiring others."
Norwegian took delivery of the 1st of its order for 108/92 737 MAX airplanes this month.
News Item A-4: Lion Airlines (MLI) subsdidiary Malaysia’s Malindo Air (MXD) has operated the 1st revenue flights with a re-engined Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplane in (MXD)'s subsidiary Batik Air (BTK) livery.
(BTK), which took delivery of the 1st (CFM) International (LEAP-1B)-powered 737 MAX 8 on May 22 operated the airplane on a revenue flight from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore and then on a return flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur. The flights operated as Malindo (MXD) flight 803 and flight 804, respectively. The Kuala Lumpur - Singapore flight took 47 minutes while the return flight took 43 minutes.
Norwegian (NWG) is expected to be the next airline to put the 737 MAX 8 into service. Southwest Airlines (SWA), which placed the launch order for the 737 MAX, is expected to receive its 1st 737 MAX 8 on July 1 and place it into service on October 1.
737-4Q8 (24332, LY-GTW) ex-(OM-GTA), GetJet Airlines leased, 3 737-8JP (42087, EI-FVS, "Benito Perez Galdos - Spanish Author;" 42279, EI-FVR "Karin Boye - Swedish Author;" 42280 EI-FVT - "Bobby Moore - British Footballer" deliveries. A320-214 (936, ES-SAO) ex-(YL-LCK), SmartLynx Airlines Estonia leased.
June 2017: News Item A-1: Arctic Aviation Assets (AAA), the leasing subsidiary of Scandinavian low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian (NWG), has exercised options on 2 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, converting them to firm orders. (AAA) also signed a letter of intent (LOI) June 14 for a sale-and-lease back transaction of 11 Boeing 737-800s currently operated by Norwegian (NWG).
The 2 new 737 MAX airplanes will be delivered during 2018. (AAA) now has 110 737 MAX models on firm order, +90 remaining purchase options.
The (LOI) for sale-and-leaseback of the 11 737-800s is expected to reduce the Norwegian Group’s financial net debt by -NOK1.4 billion/-$165 million based on a NOK/USD currency exchange rate of 8.5. The latest actions follow the May 4 announcement by (NWG) of a sale and leaseback deal on 8 new Boeing 737-800s to be conducted in (2Q) 2107. Following the sale of those 8 new deliveries, together with the 11 airplanes already in the fleet noted above, the Norwegian Group estimates a positive net cash flow impact of approximately NOK2.3 billion.
“By selling some of our older 737-800 airplanes and ordering +2 additional 737 MAX airplanes, we are taking another step toward replacing our current fleet with even more fuel-efficient and more environmentally friendly airplanes,” Norwegian (CEO) Bjørn Kjos said. “This allows us to enhance our operation and reap financial benefits. (NWG)’s strategy is to operate and own the newest state-of-the-art fleet of airplanes, giving passengers high-quality comfort and the shareholders as high a return as possible.”
Norwegian (NWG) has confirmed it will make its South American debut early in 2018. Using its Norwegian UK (NUK) London Gatwick unit, the budget carrier said it will offer a 4x-weekly, year-round, return service between London Gatwick and Buenos Aires Ezeiza, Argentina, beginning February 14. Operations are on board 787-9 airplanes. Norwegian UK (NUK) was designated the United Kingdom's 2nd carrier to ply the UK - Argentina market.
News Item A-2: (BGS), an international provider of ground handling and aircraft fuelling services, has renewed fuel service provision for Norwegian (NWG) aircraft at 2 Lithuanian and 2 Polish airports, adding 1 more (Kaunas airport) to the deal.
(NWG) and (BGS) partnership spans over >4 years since 2013 and recently, parties have extended the fuel supply partnership at Krakow, Warsaw, Vilnius, Kaunas, and Palanga airports. (BGS) has extended the contracts in all abovementioned locations as well as added a new airport to the contract (Kaunas International Airport).
The 6th largest low-cost carrier (LCC) in the world (Norwegian (NWG)) will be supplied with almost 12,000 tons of aircraft fuel to the airports throughout the contract period. >80% of the total amount will be delivered to the airports in Poland, the remaining (to support carrier's operations in Lithuania).
During 2016, the entire (BGS)-served airport network comprised of Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Ukraine, Russia, and the Czech Republic was supplied with almost a quarter of a million tons of aircraft fuel, or +80% more compared to the previous year. In 2017, the company plans to continue the growth, and increase the quantity supplied to as much as 315 000 tons of aviation fuel.
"We are happy about the long-standing partnerships that exponentially keep extending throughout the different locations. Additionally, it's always a pleasure to uphold such global leaders' as Norwegian activities. Our high efficiency standards, quality approach as well as customer support are one of the main reasons airlines choose (BGS) and we are delighted to support the client's development and expansion in the European market," comments Linas Geguzis Chairman of the Board at (BGS).
(BGS) operates in Vilnius, Kaunas, Palanga, Riga, Tallinn, Warsaw Modlin, Warsaw Chopin, Krakow, Katowice, Radom, Zhukovsky, Kiev Zhuliany, Kiev Boryspil, Odessa, Lviv and Ostrava-Mošnov airports. In these airports (BGS) provides services to such clients as Ryanair (RYR), Wizz Air (WZZ), Ukraine International Airlines (UKR), the Lufthansa Group, Turkish Airlines (thy), (DHL) (DHK), (TAP) Portugal, Air France (AFA), (KLM) Royal Dutch Airlines, Fly Dubai (FDB) and others.
Annually, (BGS) serves >2.4 million passengers and 13,000 flights. On average, (BGS) transports and fills in >250 thousand tons of aviation fuel annually. (BGS) is a member of Avia Solutions Group family (an international, publicly traded aviation holding company with >20 subsidiaries worldwide).
July 2017: News Item A-1: Low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian (NWG) posted a 1st-half net loss of -NOK411.9 million/-$49.8 million, widened from a net loss of -NOK54.7 million for the same period last year.
The fast-expanding carrier made a net profit of almost +NOK1.1 billion for (2Q), compared to a profit of +NOK745.4 million last time, but this year’s (2Q) profit was canceled out by the hefty NOK1.5 billion deficit recorded in (1Q).
Revenue for the 1st half was up +12%, at just over >NOK13 billion, compared to NOK11.6 billion last time.
Over the 1st half of the year, (NWG) carried almost 15.3 million passengers, up +13% on the 13.6 million carried over the same period in 2016.
Average sector length grew +6% to 1,519 km, as more long-haul routes began to take off. (NWG) plans to use its incoming fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8s, with their longer range compared to its existing fleet of 737-800s, to inaugurate a series of transatlantic services between secondary airports. It also has a growing fleet of Boeing 787s for long-haul services.
Capacity for the 1st half jumped by 22%, to almost 32 billion (ASK)s. (RPK)s just failed to keep pace, rising +21% to 27.6 billion km.
As a result, load factor for the half-year was marginally down at 86.2% LF, compared to 86.6% LF last time.
Fuel consumption for the half-year also grew considerably compared to the same period last year, up 20% to 651,000 tonnes.
The results for (2Q) were slightly down on last year, said (NWG) (CEO) Bjørn Kjos. While the continuing strength of (NWG)’s load factor was satisfactory, he said, “We have had significant additional costs for leasing of airplanes, high oil price and the air passenger tax implemented by the government in Norway last year, which have had a negative impact on the result.”
However, he added, bookings for the coming months were “looking very good.”
(NWG)’s fleet is planned to grow rapidly throughout 2017, with 17 Boeing 737-800s, 9 787-9s and 6 MAX 8s scheduled to have arrived by year-end.
Additionally, 3 Airbus A320neos are scheduled to be delivered, which will be leased to Hong Kong carrier HK Express (HKE).
(NWG) said that it plans to have 21 Boeing 787s in its inventory by the end of 2017. However, (NWG) noted it “may decide to adjust capacity in order to optimize the route portfolio, depending on the development in the overall economy and in the marketplace.”
News Item A2: "(EC) Official to USA: Resolve Norwegian UK Application Soon" by (ATW) Karen Walker email@example.com, July 11, 2017.
Europe will begin the arbitration process over Norwegian UK’s (NUK) application to serve USA routes if the USA does not soon approve the application, a senior European Commission (EC) official warned this week.
(NUK) has been waiting 1 year-and-a-half for a USA Department of Transportation (DOT) response to its application for a foreign air permit. Some USA airlines and labor groups oppose (NUK)’s application, even though it falls within the remit of the European Union (EU) -USA "Open Skies" agreement.
The USA delay in ruling on the application echoes the long stalling over Ireland-based Norwegian Air International’s (NAI) foreign air carrier permit, which was also opposed by USA majors and union groups and took 3 years for the (DOT) to approve. Eventually, frustrated by the inaction, the (EC) gave notice it would launch arbitration. The (DOT) awarded the permit later that year, almost 3 years after it was submitted.
(NUK) and (NAI) are subsidiaries of Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG).
Speaking at the International Aviation Club in Washington on July 10, (EC) Director General Transport & Mobility, Henrik Hololei stressed the importance of the 10-year (EU) - USA "Open Skies" agreement and said the (EC) would strongly defend its principles and not allow a piecemeal approach to it. He said he “sincerely hoped” that lessons were learned from the (NAI) application, which was “very painful,” but noted the (NUK) application had now been pending for one-and-a-half years. “There is little doubt we will take up arbitration if this application is not processed and I would invite USA authorities to resolve this issue as soon as possible,” he said.
Hololei praised the (EU) - USA "Open Skies" agreements as an accomplishment that needed to be “cherished and protected,” but which must also adapt to a rapidly changing environment. He said the agreement had served the (EU) and the USA well, with 55 million passengers in the transatlantic market today, which is still the most developed market.
He said it was time “to be bold and not inward looking or protectionist,” and to use the agreement as a tool to address current and future aviation needs. Among areas where bold change should be discussed, Hololei proposed, was airline ownership control rules.
News Item A-3: "Norwegian Performs 1st Transatlantic 737 MAX Flight"
by Victoria Moores firstname.lastname@example.org, July 18, 2017.
Low-cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian has performed its 1st commercial transatlantic flights using the Boeing 737 MAX, with 2 airplanes now in revenue service.
The 1st Norwegian 737 MAX transatlantic sector was operated July 15 by a 737 MAX named “Sir Freddie Laker,” who is widely recognized as a long-haul, low-cost pioneer. The "Skytrain" executive started long-haul, low-cost flights between London Gatwick and New York in 1977, with fares starting at £59/$77.
(NWG)’s 189-seat 737 MAX operated between Edinburgh and Hartford, Connecticut, followed by a 2nd rotation from Edinburgh to Stewart International in New York.
The 737 MAX offers longer range compared with older narrow bodies, opening up smaller transatlantic city pairs at an affordable cost and fare price.
Norwegian (NWG) will take delivery of 6 737 MAXs this summer, joining the 2 it already has in service. The other 4 737 MAXs will be delivered over the coming weeks.
August 2017: News Item A-1: Gatwick Airport, England UK recorded a +6.1% year-on-year rise in passengers travelling to China in July marking the 1st anniversary of the airport's routes to Chinese destinations Tianjin and Chongqing. The growth comes as Gatwick continues to focus on developing the airport's connectivity with Asia, with flights to Taipei and Singapore also set to launch later this year.
Overall passenger numbers rose for a 53rd consecutive month in July as 4.7 million passengers travelled through the airport (up +2.4%) making it the busiest July in Gatwick's history. Gatwick's growth has also been recognised by the Airports Council International Europe, who announced Gatwick as a top 5 airport in Europe for passenger growth, with passenger numbers +9.4% in the 1st half of 2017.
The record July was a result of Gatwick's rising long-haul traffic served by larger aircraft, with the number of passengers travelling to long-haul destinations increasing by +10.7% compared to July 2016. Gatwick's cargo, +20.4% year-on-year, also continues to benefit from the airport's long-haul growth.
Destinations in California are among Gatwick's biggest growing routes and are proving to be the summer holiday destinations of choice for many Brits this year. Oakland and Los Angeles are up +210.6% and +47.5% on 2016 respectively.
Gatwick passengers will soon have even more transatlantic destinations to choose from too, with Norwegian (NUK)/(NAI)/(NWG)'s direct flights to Denver and Seattle taking off from September, and the airline's recently announced routes to Austin, Chicago and Buenos Aires launching early next year.
Gatwick Airport (CEO) Stewart Wingate said: "Gatwick's passenger numbers for July clearly illustrate the important and growing role Gatwick is playing in bringing Britain and Asia closer together. As the demand for travel to and from East Asia continues to rise, Gatwick has responded by adding exciting new destinations such as Taipei and Singapore to our rapidly expanding network of >60 long-haul routes."
"The 1.15 billion pounds set to be invested at Gatwick over the next 5 years will revolutionise our facilities and transform the airport experience for our passengers, ultimately paving the way for increased connections, including to China (1 of our key ambitions for the near future). As we approach the halfway mark of our busiest summer on record, it's clear that Gatwick is thriving and growing at an unprecedented rate. Gatwick is already the world's busiest single-runway airport and we are exploring new and innovative ways to make best use of our existing facilities so we can continue to forge new connections and increase Britain's global connectivity when it's needed most."
"While we continue to provide new services for our growing number of passengers, we are also keen to expand and stand ready to build our financeable and deliverable 2nd runway scheme instead of, or in addition to, London Heathrow (LHR) should the Government give us the green light."
News Item A-2: Norway’s Bergen Flesland Airport has opened a new terminal with capacity for up to 10 million passengers a year.
The increase in capacity at Bergen comes just months after the opening of an expanded airport in Oslo, the country’s capital.
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said the new NOK3.7 billion/$470 million facility is important for the wider region around the Norwegian city. “Flesland plays a vital role in tourism and industry in the region,” he said, adding the airport has doubled in capacity. “This is a state-run flagship project that has run on schedule and within budget.”
The new terminal will give travelers a more spacious environment, with improved facilities. The building is designed to offer significant energy savings.
Airport Director Aslak Sverdrup said the improved facilities will hopefully mean “more direct flights to big, important domestic and foreign destinations.”
Among improvements to the airport, sustainable biofuel will now be offered to airlines.
“We are only the 2nd airport in Norway now making aviation biofuel available to airlines. This is an important step in establishing a market and infrastructure for the production and delivery of biofuel on a large scale,” Sverdrup said.
“Bergen now has a fantastic airport that will take us into the future,” airport operator Avinor (CEO) Dag Falk-Petersen said.
There are 15 bridge-connected gates: 6 domestic gates in the new terminal and 9 domestic and foreign in the old airport area. The number of aircraft parking stands has risen to 32, including 17 remote stands.
The 3-year project has increased terminal space from 22,000 sq m to 85,000 sq m with 28 check-in machines and 28 bag drops, 12 of which are self-service. The terminal’s baggage facility will be able to handle 2,500 cases per hour, more than double the current capacity.
The 8 conventional passenger security gates and 1 employee security gate will be able to process 2,000 passengers an hour, with all gates fully manned.
News Item A-3: "Report: 30% of Norway’s Aviation Fuel could be Sustainable by 2030" by Victoria Moores email@example.com, August 21, 2017.
Research commissioned by Norwegian airports operator Avinor has concluded that 30% of Norway’s aviation fuel could be sustainable by 2030, but this depends on available funding.
The report, which performed by Danish consultancy firm Rambøll in partnership with research firms Vista Analyse and Sintef, looked at biofuel production technologies and the funding needed to make them a reality at Norwegian airports.
Avinor, (LCC) Norwegian (NWG), Scandinavian carrier (SAS) and the Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries were all involved in the project, along with potential biojet producers, funding agencies and environmental organizations.
Fleet renewal and new technology play the biggest role in cutting emissions, but sustainable biofuels will help the industry go further.
“A new report from Rambøll now shows that 30% or 400 million liters of all aviation fuel used at Avinor’s airports could be sustainable by 2030. This fuel would be created from forestry waste and pulpwood from Norwegian forests,” Avinor said.
However, limited production means the small amount of biofuel available is not competitively priced. “Achieving the target of a 30% blend, and the corresponding cut in emissions, would only be possible with the help of public funding,” the airports operator said. Increased production would also create new businesses and jobs.
“Authorities and politicians will have to facilitate large-scale investment in the commercial production of biofuel in Norway, with financial incentives that work. The environmental charges currently paid by the airlines would have to be used for activities that benefit the climate. This would allow us to create a commercial market for the production of biofuel for aviation as quickly as possible. The sustainable biofuel would also have to go to those sectors of the aviation industry, which currently have no other technological alternatives,” Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industry Director General Torbjørn Lothe said.
The Rambøll report included 2 financing proposals, 1 where existing charges are channeled into a fund to pay for biofuel blending, or a 2nd where the fund purchases biofuel on behalf of the airlines.
“The fund could initiate a tender process and invite bids to supply a given number of liters of fuel for a specified period. The fund would achieve economies of scale and better contracts than if the airlines worked independently,” Avinor said.
Avinor is responsible for 45 airports and air navigation in Norway. The company handles around 50 million airline passengers annually; around half of these travel through Oslo airport.
September 2017: News Item A-1: Low Cost Carriers (LCC)s Norwegian (NWG) and Ryanair (RYR) have abandoned plans to form a connecting flight partnership, after (NWG) decided to enter into a similar tie-up with UK (LCC) easyJet (EZY).
(RYR) (CEO) Michael O’Leary had previously said a connecting deal had been agreed with (NWG) and (RYR)/(NWG) were just working on technical implementation, whereas (NWG) remained far quieter on the talks. “(RYR) is the 1 that has pretty much talked about this all the way,” (NWG) (CFO) Tore Ostby said.
News Item No 2: "Spain Overtakes Sweden to Become Norwegian’s #2 Market; Long-haul Routes only Account for 4.6% of Seats in (S17) but Growing Fast" by Anna Aero Star Feature September 6th 2017.
Norwegian Air (NWG) has been one of the pioneers with regards to low cost carrier (LCC) long-haul network development in recent years, with (NWG) now offering >1 million one-way seats on transcontinental routes in Summer 2017 (S17). However this part of its operation is still relatively small, when compared to its short-haul network. While being smaller, (NWG) is growing at a much faster rate than its short-haul operations, with transcontinental route seat capacity increasing by +64% this summer, while intra-European services are forecast to rise by +9.6% to >23.5 million one-way seats this summer.
* Spain sneaks past Sweden to take 2nd spot
Spain has been the main beneficiary of (NWG)’s capacity growth by far, with the S European nation seeing +1.07 million more 1-way seats this summer than it did in (S16). As a result, Spain is now (NWG)’s 2nd largest market after its home nation of Norway, with 3.81 million one-way seats being offered this summer. Sweden in 3rd has 3.59 million one-way seats. Finland, the 5th fastest growing market in (S17), is currently the biggest market of (NWG)’s to not yet have wide body operations.
While Spain is the fastest growing nation in relation to net seats, as a percentage, it is Ireland which has seen the biggest gain, with it showing +169% more seats in (S17) when compared to (S16), no doubt due to the new 737 MAX 8 transatlantic operations from Dublin, Cork, and Shannon. The Netherlands, along with Ireland (both highlighted in light green), are top 12 nations that are the fastest growing markets, but are not part of (NWG)’s overall top 12 markets, in relation to overall seats being offered this summer. The 2 nations which are among (NWG)’s top in overall seats but not in regards to net increase of seats, are Poland and Croatia. Poland (11th largest overall market) has seen a -7.4% reduction in seats this summer, while Croatia (12th) has welcomed a +12% increase to >253,000 one-way seats.
* Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca lead hub growth
With Spain being (NWG)’s fastest growing market, it comes as no surprise to see that its top 4 growing airports among its leading operations are all in Spain. Palma de Mallorca which is indicating 4 night-stopping airplanes this summer, is showing the biggest increase in seats when compared to (S16), with departing seats up by close to +69%. Barcelona (+57% growth in one-way seats), Malaga (+22%) and Madrid (+20%) are the only other airports in the top 12 to encounter a +20% growth in seats. Outside of the Spanish network, (NWG)’s best performing hub for growth is Helsinki, which is showing <+18% increase in seats.
It is not just Spanish airports inside the top 12 which are showing strong gains. Among the nation’s airports that are present in (NWG)’s top 50, Alicante (13th largest airport operation) is showing a +19% rise in departing seats this summer, while Gran Canaria (19th; seat capacity up +30%), Tenerife South (28th; +39%), Bilbao (35th; +45% – new domestic route from Barcelona) and Tenerife North (44th; +16%) are all showing +15% growth in (S17).
* Transcontinental operations account for only 4.6% of all seats
While a major focus of attention has been on (NWG)’s long-haul operations in recent years, it should be noted that only 4.6% of all seats flown by (NWG) this summer involve routes between 2 different continents. However, (S17) is the 1st summer where (NWG) has passed one million one-way seats in this market. While the transcontinental market is still minuscule for (NWG), it has grown from having a 3.1% share of (NWG)’s overall seats in (S16).
Among (NWG)’s new destinations this summer is Singapore, which is launching at the end of September with flights from London Gatwick (4th largest airport operation for (NWG)), (NWG)’s 1st long-haul route to Asia from the UK. This is the only new country market to be added to (NWG)’s network this year, while other new airports include Denver and Seattle-Tacoma in the USA. In relation to (NWG)’s short-haul network, among the new additions are Hannover and Düsseldorf in Germany, (NWG)’s 8th fastest growing market this summer. Looking ahead to 2018, new airports for (NWG) include Buenos Aires Ezeiza (1st route to Argentina and South America), Austin and Chicago O’Hare, USA all of which are being launched from Gatwick. As a result of (NWG)’s expansion on transcontinental services, (NWG) is currently showing a +55% increase in seats in this sector for (S18).
See attached photo:
"NWG-2017-09 Top Contributor.jpg."
November 2017: Swiss AviationSoftware was selected by Boeing (TBC) to support its Global Fleet Care services with (AMOS) (MRO) software; Norwegian (NWG) is 1st customer to use the (AMOS)-supported service.
December 2017: News Item A-1: Norwegian Air Argentina has 153 routes approved; an under-served aviation market, but still has challenges.
On October 26 2017 the Argentine National Civil Aviation Administration (ANAC) authorised Norwegian Air Argentina to operate 153 routes from the country, both domestic and international. The Norwegian Group expects that its Argentinean subsidiary, established in January 2017, will finally launch operations in the middle of 2018.
It had originally hoped for a winter 2017/2018 launch, but the regulatory process has taken longer than expected. Operation of the authorized routes will be phased in over a period of years, but Argentina will be a major focus of Norwegian Group's growth in 2018.
The Norwegian Group's 1st Argentinean flight will be London Gatwick to Buenos Aires, operated by Norwegian Air UK (NUK) on February 14, 2018, but Norwegian Air Argentina itself will begin with domestic and intra-Latin American routes. Intercontinental routes to cities in Europe and North America are also on its authorized list and will be added over time. It plans to grow its presence in Argentina to up to 70 airplanes. Argentina is an underserved aviation market, with high fares, offering significant potential to low cost airlines. Some liberalization has attracted a number of possible new entrants, but challenges include infrastructure and a minimum fare regulation.
News Item A-2: "Norwegian Air Argentina to Receive 1st 737-800 in January" by Mark Nensel firstname.lastname@example.org , December 14, 2017.
Norwegian Air Argentina (NAA) will receive its 1st aircraft (a 9 month old Boeing 737-800) in January 2018, bringing the Buenos Aires-based subsidiary of the European (LCC) closer to flight-operational status, the company said on December 14.
The 189-seat aircraft, which made its 1st flight in March 2017 and is presently operating in Europe, will be the 1st of 10 to 12 737-800s (NAA) is planning to operate during its 1st year of operations in Argentina.
The Norwegian Group established its Argentinian subsidiary in January. In October, the Argentinian National Civil Aviation Administration (ANAC) granted (NAA) concessions to operate 153 routes from the country. “Argentina is an interesting market with great potential that fits Norwegian (NWG)’s global strategy very well, combining affordable domestic and international flights,” (NAA) (CEO) Ole Christian Melhus said in May, on the occasion of the approval by Norwegian’s board of the (NAA) operational plan. “We have been very well received by Argentinian authorities and look forward to a fruitful relationship going forward.”
Argentina is in the midst of a $1.4 billion overhaul of its air transport sector, putting resources into renovations of 19 regional airports and outdated (ATC) systems as well as navigational technology, country-wide. The plan, announced in March by Argentine President Mauricio Macri, calls for opening 135 new routes (including 77 domestic and 58 international routes)and a doubling of airline passengers to 21 million in 2019.
A search on Norwegian (NWG)’s flight booking site reveals the carrier will begin direct round trip flights from Buenos Aires to New York (JFK) and London Gatwick on February 15, 2018. On both routes, (NWG) will utilize 1 of its 787 Dreamliners. Domestic and international Norwegian Air Argentina branded flights and routes remain to be announced, though the company has said they would be by year-end 2017, pending government approval.
January 2018: News Item A-1: Norwegian (NWG) carried a record number of passengers in 2017 as it continued to step up its long-haul program. It also announced that it was better prepared to cope with traffic peaks in 2018 and would not be leasing in extra capacity.
(NWG) carried 33.15 million passengers in 2017, a rise of +3.8 million on 2016, the company announced January 5. The launch of 54 new routes(mainly between Europe and the USa) contributed considerably to the growth.
News Item A-2: Norwegian (NWG) has secured the slots it needs to launch 4x-weekly Amsterdam to New York flights, using remedies from a transatlantic joint venture (JV) between 4 SkyTeam (STM) Alliance member airlines. “We have gained slots at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport through a European Commission ruling that allows us to continue our long-haul expansion and provide consumers with more affordable transatlantic flights. Our new 4x-weekly service between Amsterdam and New York will bring more competition.
February 2018: News Item A-1: Norwegian (NWG) started its 6th non-stop route into Oakland (OAK), California, USA beginning a 2x-weekly operation (Tuesdays and Fridays) from Rome Fiumicino (FCO) on February 6. The 10,034 km sector joins the (LCC)’s existing European flights to the Bay Area airport: Barcelona, Copenhagen, London Gatwick, Oslo Gardermoen and Stockholm Arlanda. Operated by (NWG)’s 787-8s, the route becomes the 1st non-stop Bay Area service to Rome since 2001. “We offer more European routes out of the Bay Area than any other airline and we are excited to be the only airline with non-stop service to Rome, 1 of the world’s greatest tourist destinations,” said Thomas Ramdahl, (NWG)’s (CCO).
“We’re especially delighted to welcome this non-stop flight connecting Rome to Oakland and the rest of the beautiful San Francisco Bay region,” said Bryant L Francis, Director of Aviation for the Port of Oakland. There are no other carriers operating this airport pair.
News Item A-2: "Norwegian Agrees to Spanish Labor Deal" by Victoria Moores, (ATW) Daily News, February 09, 2018.
Low cost carrier (LCC) Norwegian (NWG) has signed a comprehensive collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with Spanish pilots' union (SEPLA), covering the next 2 years.
Norwegian Group Chief Human Resources (HR) Officer Helga Bollmann Leknes described the deal, which will be put to a vote among (SEPLA)'s members, as "crucial to the group's future growth."
Spain is (NWG)'s 2nd-largest market by passenger volumes and its largest in terms of staff numbers, employing >2,190 people.
This summer, (NWG) will have a fleet of 33 airplanes stationed across its 8 Spanish bases at Alicante, Barcelona (1 short- and 1 long-haul), Gran Canaria, Madrid, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca and Tenerife South. These are more bases than (NWG) has across all the Nordic countries combined. "The agreement signed February 9 will usher further growth from solid bases, providing (NWG) with predictability and stability, amid an ever-changing environment in 1 of Europe's most competitive aviation markets," Norwegian Air Resources (CEO) Bjørn Erik Barman-Jenssen said.
This closes the Spanish labor negotiations, as (NWG) reached a deal with its cabin crew (CA) there in June. "There are no other negotiations under way in Spain right now."
Earlier, (NWG) also signed a (CBA) for its Italy-based long-haul crews, building on the Italian short-haul agreement it already has in place.
In 2017, (NWG)'s Spanish operations generated 8.46 million passengers, up +24% year-on-year.
News Item A-3: Norwegian (NWG)/(NUK) has grown its long-haul network from London Gatwick (LGW) with its 1st route to Buenos Aires Ezeiza (EZE). The new year-round service, which commenced on February 14, will be operated 4x-weekly by (NWG)/(NUK)’s 787-9 fleet. There is no direct competition on the 11,117 km sector to the Argentinian capital city.
Norwegian (CEO) Bjorn Kjos said: “Today we have marked the start of our new expansion into South America by bringing a taste of Argentina to London Gatwick. I am delighted to bring our high quality long-haul flights to another continent as we launch the only direct flight from London Gatwick to Buenos Aires, giving leisure and business passengers affordable access to South America. Our 1st flight to Buenos Aires from the UK marks another milestone for Norwegian. As our 1st South American route takes off, it is also a 1st step towards ambitious plans for international and domestic growth in Argentina, ahead of flights to Chicago and Austin from London Gatwick next month.”
Gatwick Airport (CEO) Stewart Wingate added: “The launch of Norwegian’s 1st ever South American route is another exciting landmark in Gatwick’s ongoing mission to connect the UK to more and more long-haul destinations. The airport now offers 63 long-haul connections (with many, including Buenos Aires, operated by low-cost carriers (LCC) making Gatwick the busiest departure airport for low-cost long-haul services in the world. We’re going to continue breaking new ground this year and remain focused on strengthening Gatwick’s global reach at a time when world wide connections are crucial for the UK.”
Buenos Aires will be Norwegian’s 11th sector launched from Gatwick in the past 4 years and by the end of March, the (LCC) will become the 2nd largest long-haul airline at the airport, with 13 direct long-haul routes following the launch of Buenos Aires, Chicago and Austin in March, and Singapore in September.
News Item A-4: "Norwegian to Offer Free Wi-Fi on Long-haul Flights"
by Victoria Moores, (ATW) Daily News, February 17, 2018.
Norwegian (NWG) will offer free Wi-Fi on long-haul operations, mirroring the service on its short-haul European fleet, although there will also be a faster, paid option. Most European airlines charge for Wi-Fi, making (NWG)'s complimentary short-haul service unusual.
Earlier this year, (NWG) announced plans to roll out Wi-Fi on its long-haul fleet from later in 2018, although it did not disclose whether it planned to monetize the service.
Speaking at a media briefing in London on February 13, (NWG) (CEO) Bjorn Kjos said the free Wi-Fi option will be offered alongside a paid high-speed option, which is fast enough to stream movies and TV shows.
Kjos said the free Wi-Fi will target business passengers especially. He expects the service to get strong uptake among passengers, once it goes live on Norwegian (NWG)'s Boeing 787s and 737 MAXs from the end of this year.
(NWG)'s undisclosed supplier is working to get its equipment approved for use on (NWG)'s long-haul airplanes. "It seems to be going fine," Kjos said. "It's now in testing, which we need to do to be able to install the Wi-Fi. Needless to say, we will provide free Wi-Fi to everybody. That's one thing we want to do. Everybody should have access to free Wi-Fi. We need enough satellite coverage so they can use Wi-Fi without restrictions, so that's why we've gone to a vendor with much better coverage."
Panasonic supplies the in-flight entertainment (IFE) hardware for (NWG)'s short-haul 737 and long-haul 787 fleet, while "Global Eagle" provides connectivity and content on the 737s.
News Item A-5: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) took delivery of its 100th direct buy Boeing 737-800, the last of this airplane type in its fleet, as it prepares for a large influx of more fuel-efficient Boeing 737 MAX airplanes.
March 2018: News Item A-1: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) said it raised NOK1.3 billion/$168 million in a private share placement as (NWG) pushes ahead with its expansion amid rising fuel prices and currency effects, which are making for a “challenging” 1st quarter.
(NWG) has been shaking up the transatlantic travel market, using its rapidly growing fleet to launch new destinations and challenge legacy carriers on an important section of their networks with cheap tickets.
But on March 20, (NWG) warned its 1st-quarter operating loss would be bigger than the same period last year at -NOK2.3 billion, versus -NOK1.7 billion, because of currency fluctuations and rising fuel costs. “The average price for jet fuel in the 1st quarter 2018 is so far +12% higher than the assumption in the company’s current guidance, and the euro is +8% stronger than anticipated. Operations have also suffered from somewhat challenging weather conditions.”
(NWG) still expects capacity to increase +40% in 2018 and while it kept its prediction of unit costs excluding fuel, unchanged for the full year, it said higher-than-expected fuel prices would lead to unit costs including depreciation rising to between NOK 0.415 to 0.42, up from a previous estimate of NOK 0.405 to 0.41.
(NWG) acting (CFO) Tore Ostby sounded a positive note about operational performance for the coming months on a conference call, during which (NWG) explained the proceeds of the placement would help fund its continued expansion: (NWG) launched flights between the UK and Argentina last month and plans to begin flying between Ireland and Canada this summer. “We’re very comfortable on bookings and the market for the summer season,” Ostby said.
“We are very geared towards leisure and the summer season so with +100% growth in our long-haul operations at the same time as we have low season that is the explanation of our disappointing 1st quarter,” Ostby said. “Of course you will see that seasonality makes all the difference in the 2nd and 3rd quarters.” He added: “2016 and 2017 were years of investment. This 1st half of 2018 is the final stage of the ramp-up of our long-haul operations so in the back-end of this year, we will see that the growth of long-haul will gradually slow.”
Excluding fuel, (NWG) is expecting unit costs to drop 10% to 12% in 2018.
(NWG) is taking delivery of 9 Boeing 787s in the 1st half of 2018, and expects to operate a fleet of 30 787s by summer, while capacity growth will slow in the 2nd half with only 2 787s scheduled for delivery. Ticket sales for intercontinental routes are growing faster than capacity, (NWG) said, adding that it expects single digit growth rates in the European short-haul network with stable demand growth.
(NWG) also said it is in discussions to sell up to 5 Airbus A320neos leased to HK Express with an estimated gain of +$15 to +$20 million.
(NWG) has also initiated a review of strategic options for its frequent flyer program, "Norwegian Reward," which has >7 million members and expected to rise to 9 million by the end of the year.
(NWG) will ask for approval to issue more shares with potential proceeds of up to NOK200 million at an extraordinary general meeting on or around April 4.
News Item A-2: "(ATW)'s Value Airline of the Year: Norwegian (NWG)"
by ATWOnline, March 26, 2018.
Norwegian Founder & (CEO) Bjørn Kjos launched his company on the principle that everyone should be able to afford to fly, and that affordable fares and high-quality service bring the world closer together. “You could think of Norwegian as contrarian, a leader of the democratization of air travel, or perhaps just as that big, unmistakable red Dreamliner in the sky.
April 2018: News Item A-1: "(IAG) Acquires 4.61% Stake in Norwegian in ‘Attractive Investment’" by Jens Flottau (email@example.com) April 12, 2018.
The International Airlines Group (IAG) acquired a 4.61% stake in (LCC) Norwegian (NWG), a move that could see it take full control later.
The (IAG) said it considered (NWG) to be an “attractive investment.” The shareholding “is intended to establish a position from which to initiate discussions with (NWG), including the possibility of a full offer for (NWG).” The (IAG) said no such talks have taken place so far and that it has not yet made a decision to make an offer.
(NWG) shares rose by +40% in early trading upon the news. (NWG) said it had “no prior knowledge of this acquisition” and “has not been in any discussions or dialogue with the (IAG) about the matter. (NWG) believes that interest from 1 of the largest international aviation groups demonstrates the sustainability and potential of our business model and global growth.”
Should the (IAG) go ahead with the plan, the deal could be transformative for both companies, as well as the European air transport sector. The (IAG) would become an even bigger player not only in traditional hub flying, but also in the fast-growing European low-fare segment. It would also put the (IAG) into the pole position in the long-haul, low-cost market, for which (NWG) has been building a large base at London-Gatwick airport.
Norwegian (NWG) has been expanding aggressively, particularly on long-haul routes and, because of the massive expansion, made a loss in 2017 following a profitable 2016. (NWG) did not immediately comment on the (IAG) plans. It has holding an extraordinary shareholder meeting on April 13 because of a recent financing round.
Should the (IAG) take control of (NWG), the deal would raise questions about its internal structure. The (IAG) could decide to merge (NWG) with its existing low-cost unit Vueling (VUZ) and Level (LVL), the long-haul, low-cost unit that just started flying. (NWG)’s plans to build a subsidiary in Latin America, Norwegian Air Argentina, may need to be reconsidered since the (IAG) is already an alliance partner with (LATAM) (LAN) and is linked to it through common shareholder Qatar Airways (QTA).
The Lufthansa Group is also expanding its low-cost business through the Eurowings (EWG) affiliate, but the network is focused mainly on Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Belgium. Air France (AFA) - (KLM) has a much smaller low-cost offering, Transavia (TAV), growth of which is limited by pilot (FC) agreements.
News Item A-2: "(IAG) - Norwegian (NWG) Deal Raises Competition Concerns for Barcelona El Prat" by "Aviation Week"
Helen Massy-Beresford (firstname.lastname@example.org)
April 20, 2018.
The Catalan Competition Authority (ACCO) said the International Airlines Group’s (IAG) possible purchase of Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) would have to be analyzed in depth because it could involve risks for competition at Barcelona’s El Prat Airport.
The (IAG) revealed April 12 it had acquired a 4.61% stake in (NWG), a step it said could eventually lead to an offer for a full takeover.
“The Catalan Competition Authority considers that this operation could reduce competition and have negative effects on the welfare of the citizens of Catalonia since both companies are very significant at Barcelona-El Prat Airport, the watchdog said. It noted the (IAG) operates to 120 destinations through all its airlines, including Iberia (IBE), Vueling (VUZ) and Level (LVL), as well as British Airways (BAB), while Norwegian (NWG) operates to 23 destinations.
Its preliminary analysis of the situation reveals overlaps between (NWG) and the (IAG) group airlines on 17 routes and the group would become the sole operator to 4 destinations, including 2 transatlantic ones, the (ACCO) said.
If a takeover operation went ahead with no concessions, 4 destinations: Dubrovnik, Gothenburg, Los Angeles and Oakland; would be served by just 1 operator, down from 2.
In the case of 7 destinations, competition would reduce from 3 to 2 operators: Copenhagen, Dusseldorf, Edinburgh, Gran Canaria, Helsinki, Reykjavík and Oslo.
Stockholm, Hamburg, Tel Aviv and Tenerife would see their choices reduced from 4 to 3 competitors. London would be served by 4 operators, down from 5, and Warsaw 5 down from 6.
News Item A-3: See AirVuz Drone Views of Norway:
June 2018: News Item A-1: "Spohr: Lufthansa ‘In Contact’ with Norwegian" by Jens Flottau (email@example.com),
June 18, 2018.
Norwegian (NWG)’s shares rose as much as +12% after Lufthansa (DLH) (CEO) Carsten Spohr said (DLH) was “in contact” with (NWG).
Spohr cautioned that any deal would depend on price, strategic merits and approvals by competition authorities, but investors clearly hoped the comments could revitalize the idea of a takeover of (NWG) by a larger airline group.
Norwegian (NWG) said June 18 (NWG) has received expressions of interests by several parties to acquire shares, a full takeover, financing or various forms of partnerships, all of which show “the attractiveness of our business.”
(NWG) posted a NOK2.2 billion/$269 million operating loss in the 1st quarter equivalent to a -31% operating margin. The growing losses come as (NWG) expanded capacity by 36% in the same period, mainly on its transatlantic long-haul network.
Some believe the current course is no longer sustainable. “The original plan is unattainable, restructuring unavoidable,” Bernstein Research airline analyst Daniel Roeska said. He expects (NWG) to reduce its growth ambitions substantially.
Roeska said that “without more cash and equity (NWG) will not survive.” Bernstein calculates that (NWG) needs to cover up to $1.46 billion in capital expenditure over the next 2 years as it grows its Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC) fleets.
(NWG) has orders in place for 95 Airbus A320neo family aircraft, 110 Boeing 737 MAX and 16 787s. 7 737 MAXs and 9 787s have been delivered. (NWG) also has a substantial fleet of leased 787s.
Roeska also argued that “long-haul, low-cost is not working for (NWG). A dilutive mix-shift between short- and long-haul flying is causing operational performance to deteriorate significantly.” He estimated (NWG) faceD an operating loss of up to -NOK8.2 billion/-$1 billion over the next 3 years. Roeska believes (NWG) is losing up to $29,000 per long-haul flight because of weak yields, lack of feeder traffic and business traveler demand.
(NWG)’s long-haul network is almost entirely focused on the North Atlantic because (NWG) has not been able to secure Russian overflight rights it needs to open potentially more lucrative services to China.
Lufthansa (DLH) is the 2nd airline group to publicly express an interest in (NWG), following the International Airlines Group (IAG), which bought a 4.6% stake in (NWG) in April and said it wanted to open discussions that include the possibility of a full takeover. (NWG) (CEO) Bjørn Kjos has rejected 2 (IAG) takeover offers since then.
(IAG) carriers British Airways (BAB), Spanish (LCC) Vueling (VUZ) and Ireland flag carrier Aer Lingus (ARL) have significant network overlap with Norwegian (NWG), including at London-Gatwick, whereas (DLH) hardly competes with (NWG). While that would make a takeover more likely to be approved without too burdensome antitrust limitations, Lufthansa (DLH) would also not have the benefit of reduced competition in a part of its network.
The (DLH) group is also busy with integrating parts of now defunct airberlin (BER) into Eurowings (EWG), a task that is proving to be more challenging than anticipated. (EWG) is suffering from large-scale operational disruptions because of an aircraft shortage. A wet-lease deal with LaudaMotion (NKI) was ended prematurely after Ryanair (RYR) invested in a minority stake in (NKI) the Austrian airline.
Spohr said during the (IATA) (AGM) in Sydney early June that his company ought not to miss opportunities for consolidation regardless of timetables.
News Item A-2: "Norwegian (CEO): Size is Critical for Success" by
Victoria Moores, (ATW) Plus, June 20, 2018.
Norwegian (NWG) (CEO) Bjørn Kjos believes his low cost carrier (LCC) is reaching the critical mass it needs to succeed, as several European heavyweights voice their potential interest in the business. “You need size; we are about to reach that size,” Kjos said, during an on-stage keynote interview with (ATW) Victoria Moores at the (ACI) Europe & World General Assembly in Brussels on June 19. He added that Norwegian (NWG) is “just about at the peak” of its growth this summer, after a sharp investment ramp-up.
News Item A-3: "Norwegian To Fly Gatwick to Tampa; New Winter Additions" by Airways, June 2018.
Norwegian (NWG)’s impressive growth continues with the addition of new long-haul routes from its European bases. (NWG) has unveiled its international winter 2018 schedule, which starts on October 28 and ends on March 31 next year.
The 1st new route announced as part of the winter’s network is a new flight from London Gatwick (LGW) to the city of Tampa (TPA) in Florida. The flights will begin on October 31 this year on a 2x-weekly service with (NWG)’s Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Flight DI7165 will depart (LGW) at 14:55 and arrive into (TPA) at 19:35 local on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The return, Flight DI7166 will depart (TPA) at 21:00 the same day and arrive into (LGW) at 09:55 the next morning. The 787 that will operate the Tampa route will seat up to 344 passengers in its Economy and Premium Economy cabins.
* Gatwick Becoming A Major Norwegian Hub
Thomas Ramdahl, Norwegian’s (CCO) said that (NWG) “continues to offer customers increased choice, flexibility, and value throughout winter 2018 and we are pleased to welcome Tampa, Florida as a new destination to our network.” From (LGW) alone, (NWG) operates 13 long-haul routes. And from the Winter season onwards, 11 of those routes will be to the USA when the (TPA) flight begins.
* Norwegian Under (IAG)/Lufthansa (DLH) Watch
The UK is a crucial market for Norwegian (NWG), carrying 5.8 million passengers each year from London Gatwick (LGW), Edinburgh and Manchester to 50 destinations world wide. Out of the 5.8 million passengers carried, 4.6 million of them are from (LGW) alone.
(NWG)’s growth (and adjustment on some routes) shows that it has the required demand for sustainable growth. The fact that its presence in London is growing in importance, it is more likely to see (IAG) placing a higher bid in the near future. The owners of British Airways (BAB), Iberia (IBE), Aer Lingus (ARL), and Vueling (VUZ), might be the perfect fit for (NWG)’s future endeavors. But should (NWG)’s financial conditions improve, the bidding war between (IAG) and the Lufthansa Group might intensify in the upcoming months.
News Item A-4: 787-9 (38779, LN-LNO), ex-(G-CJUL) delivery.
July 2018: Norwegian (NWG) launched a year-round service to Los Angeles (LAX) from Madrid (MAD) on July 15, cementing its position as the world’s largest low-cost long-haul carrier. (NWG) serves the 9,381 km route 4x-weekly using its 787-9s. Currently, rival Iberia (INE) serves the airport pair daily on A330-200s, making Madrid the 2nd Spanish airport where (NWG) is competing with an (IAG) carrier after Barcelona in the transatlantic market, with (NWG) also competing with LEVEL (LVL) from the coastal city.
(NWG)’s new service departs Madrid on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays at 13:40, arriving in Los Angeles 12 hours later at 16:40 local time. The return leg departs at 18:40, touching down in Madrid at 14:15 the following day. On Mondays, the service departs Madrid 3 hours later at 16:50. (NWG) will add a 2nd transatlantic service from Madrid on July 18, a 3x-weekly rotation to New York (JFK), while a 4th to Fort Lauderdale will commence in time for the start of the Winter 2018/2019 season.
August 2018: "Norwegian Wet Leases Hi Fly A380 for London to (NY) Route" by Kurt Hofmann (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 10, 2018.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) is operating a single Airbus A380 from Portuguese wet-lease specialist Hi Fly (LXA) through August 23 on its London Gatwick to New York (JFK) services to fill in for temporarily out-of-service Boeing 787s as they undergo Rolls-Royce (RRC) (Trent 1000) engine inspections.
A (NWG) spokesperson declined to give specific numbers of 787s undergoing inspections, but confirmed the A380 will be used on the New York route to “avoid cancellations of our flights to (JFK).”
The A380 is a former Singapore Airlines (SIA) aircraft equipped with 471 seats: 12F in first class, 60C in business and 399Y in economy.
The spokesperson said because it is peak season on the New York route, (NWG) has been able to sell all A380 seats as flights are running on full capacity.
Rolls-Royce (RRC), which said August 2 it had taken a £554 million/$729 million hit over the (Trent 1000) problems, is inspecting hundreds of engines.
(NWG) has become the 1st (LCC) to operate the A380 on scheduled flights.
Hi Fly (LXA) took delivery of the ex-(SIA) aircraft in July.
September 2018: News Item A-1: Norwegian (NWG) is suspending services between London Gatwick and Singapore, which is currently the longest low cost carrier (LCC) route in the world. The decision to suspend London to Singapore after only a year operating the route highlights the challenges of true long haul operations for (LCC)s.
It can be difficult for (LCC)s to achieve a sufficient enough cost advantage compared to Full Service Carrier (FSC)s on routes of >12 hours, particularly in a high oil price environment. The Singapore to London market (and the broader SE Asia to Europe market) is intensely competitive, with several airlines offering aggressively priced one-stop options.
The Europe to North America market, which is generally higher yielding and cheaper to operate because of the shorter length of flight, is more attractive to (NWG) than Europe to Asia. (NWG) also now has new opportunities in the Europe to South America market following the upcoming launch of its new Argentina-based subsidiary, which makes Latin America more strategically important for (NWG) than Asia.
News Item A-2: London to Buenos Aires to replace London to Singapore as world’s longest (LCC) route.
Norwegian (NWG) launched services to Singapore in late September 2018 and since then has operated the London Gatwick to Singapore route 4x- weekly with 2 class 787-9s.
(NWG) recently announced plans to suspend services from January 2019. (NWG)'s (LCC) group will have only served Singapore for 15 and a half months when the last Singapore to London flight operates on January 11, 2019.
Following the suspension of London to Singapore, London to Buenos Aires becomes the longest route for Norwegian (and the longest route in the world for any (LCC)). (NWG) launched services to Buenos Aires in February 2018 with 4x-weekly 787-9 frequencies.
* The longest (LCC) routes are in Europe to Argentina, Singapore and Thailand markets.
London Gatwick to Buenos Aires currently has a scheduled flight time of 13 hr 40 mins southbound sector and 13 hr 00 min northbound. London Gatwick to Singapore has a scheduled flight time of up to 14 hr 00 min westbound (slightly shorter for some frequencies) and 12 hr 45 mins eastbound.
* The 4th longest route by an (LCC) is also to Argentina (LEVEL’s Barcelona to Buenos Aires service. This flight, which is operated 6x- weekly with A330-300s, has a scheduled time of 13hr 20 mins south bound and 12 hr 40 mins northbound.
Singapore will still have 1 of the 5 longest (LCC) routes. Singapore to Berlin is currently the 3rd longest (LCC) route, with a scheduled flight time of 12 hr 55 mins westbound and 12 hr 05 mins eastbound.
Scoot (SCT) launched Berlin in June 2018; its Singapore to Athens service, which was launched in June 2017 with a scheduled flight time of 11 hr 10 mins westbound and 11 hr 55 mins eastbound, was the longest (LCC) route for Singapore (and Scoot (SCT)) before (NWG)’s launch of Singapore to London.
Eurowings (EWG)’s 1x-weekly Cologne to Bangkok A330-200 service is currently the 5th longest route in the world, based on scheduled flight times. (EWG) is dropping Cologne to Bangkok and Munich to Bangkok in late October 2018 but is launching, at the same time, 4x- weekly services from Duesseldorf to Bangkok, which will have a longer scheduled westbound flight time of up to 13 hr 30 mins (making it the 2nd longest (LCC) route after London to Buenos Aires once London to Singapore is dropped).
* South America is a more strategically important market for Norwegian (NWG).
It is very unlikely that (NWG) would also suspend London to Buenos Aires because Argentina is a strategically important market. (NWG)’s new Argentina-based affiliate, Norwegian Air Argentina, is planning to launch operations in October 2018 (initially with domestic services).
(NWG) is upgrading London to Buenos Aires from 4x-weekly services to daily in early December 2018, as it looks to leverage the launch of Norwegian Air Argentina. The group is planning to add several more long haul routes from Buenos Aires over the next few years.
Norwegian also plans to launch services in spring 2019 from London Gatwick to Rio de Janeiro, which will be its 2nd South Atlantic route. (NWG) has not yet set a launch date or begun sales for London to Rio, which has a scheduled time of 11 hr 45 mins southbound and 11 hr 20 mins northbound (currently operated by British Airways (BAB) from London Heathrow).
Singapore (and Asia generally) is not as strategically important for (NWG). The group has no plans for establishing a subsidiary or affiliate in Asia. (NWG) also has not yet forged a partnership with an Asian airline. The lack of feed has likely impacted (NWG)’s performance on the Singapore to London route and its ability to expand in Singapore with routes from its other European bases, which at one point was under consideration.
* (NWG) focuses on long haul services across the Atlantic.
Since it was launched in 2013, (NWG)’s long haul operation has focused mainly on the North Atlantic market. The group currently serves nearly 20 destinations in North America. Its longest North Atlantic route is Los Angeles to Rome, which has a scheduled time of 12 hr 20 mins westbound and 11 hr 50 mins eastbound.
Singapore marked the 1st time that (NWG) had pursued any expansion in Asia since 2013. Bangkok was 1 of (NWG)’s initial 2 long haul destinations (along with New York), but the group focused almost entirely on the trans Atlantic market for the next 4 years as it expanded its 787 fleet.
With the suspension of Singapore, (NWG) once again will have just 1 destination in Asia: Thailand. Expansion in Asia does not seem to be a priority at this point. ((NWG) would likely launch services to North Asia if it could secure Russian overflight rights, which have so far proven elusive.)
* Norwegian slowly expands in Thailand
(NWG) launched services to Bangkok from Oslo and Stockholm in June 2013 and services to Bangkok from Copenhagen were added in July 2014. For a few years these were the longest (LCC) routes in the world; all 3 of (NWG)’s Bangkok routes currently have a scheduled time of between 11 hr 40 mins and 12 hr 00 min westbound and 10 hr 45 mins to 11 hr 05 mins eastbound.
(NBG) still serves Bangkok from all 3 Scandinavian cities, with a low frequency schedule. (NWG) has only one weekly service on all 3 routes during the northern summer season. In the northern winter season, (NWG) has 4 services from Stockholm to Bangkok, 3 services from Oslo and 2 services from Copenhagen. (NWG) has not expanded in Bangkok since winter 2014/2015. Capacity on its 3 Bangkok routes has since been flat (or down slightly) and it has elected against launching any services to Bangkok from any of its other European bases.
However, (NWG) is adding service to a 2nd destination in Thailand, Krabi, in late October 2018. (NWG) will operate 6x-weekly flights to Krabi this winter including 2 flights from Copenhagen, 2 from Oslo and 2 from Stockholm. The 3 Krabi routes have a scheduled flying time of 11 hr 30 mins to 12 hrs westbound and 10 hr 25 min to 10 hr 45 min eastbound.
Offering direct services to 1 of Thailand's most popular beach destinations differentiates (NWG) as Krabi is not as competitive a market as Bangkok. However, Krabi is a relatively small niche market and is highly seasonal. All 3 routes will only operate during the northern winter season (from late October 2018 to late March 2019).
Bangkok is a much larger market and less seasonal but extremely competitive. While Eurowings (EWG) is the only other (LCC) serving the Bangkok to Europe market, Gulf airlines offer aggressively priced one-stop options. Thai Airways (TII) and several European full service airlines also operate nonstop flights from Bangkok to 21 European destinations.
(NWG) competes against Thai Airways (TII) in the Bangkok to Copenhagen, Oslo and Stockholm markets. As it offers connections beyond the 3 Scandinavian hubs, (NWG) has a one-stop product on numerous Bangkok to Europe city pairs, most of which are also served by several (FSC)s.
* Singapore to Europe market is more challenging
The Singapore to Europe market is similarly very competitive. Singapore is linked nonstop with 19 destinations in Europe but, as is the case with Bangkok, a high proportion of the traffic opts for the attractively priced one-stop options.
In several aspects, (NWG)’s position in the Singapore market is even more challenging than its position in the Bangkok (or Thailand) market. (NWG) is relying more on point-to-point traffic for its Singapore to London service, compared to its 3 Bangkok to Scandinavia routes. (NWG) has a hub at Gatwick but connections to continental Europe via London involve backtracking, and are inconvenient.
Given the low fares offered by other one-stop competitors in the Singapore to continental Europe market, it is very difficult for (NWG) to attract transit traffic. (NWG) is also offering some connections to North America, but the Singapore to North America market has also become extremely competitive, with very low fares often offered by (FSC)s.
* Norwegian has no feed in Singapore
(NWG) does not have any partnerships with any airlines serving Singapore. Feed beyond Singapore, which is a huge hub for the SE Asia region and Australia/New Zealand, would have enabled (NWG) to reduce its reliance on local Singapore to London traffic.
(NWG) was hoping to attract some self-connecting passengers. Singapore is an easy airport for self-connections and there are ample (LCC) options. However, Singapore’s high passenger service and security fees can dissuade self-connecting passengers, which are generally price sensitive.
Singapore recently increased passenger service and security fees to SGD 47.30/USD 34.30 per departure. While transit passengers in Singapore only pay SGD 9, (NWG) does not have any transit passengers in Singapore and self-connecting passengers need to pay the full SGD 47.30 (or SGD 94.60 for a return journey).
Singapore Changi Airport also recently increased landing and parking charges. Singapore was already an expensive airport to operate into, and the further increase in charges could have been a factor in (NWG)’s decision to suspend services to Singapore.
* High oil prices impact long haul low cost route economics
Rising oil prices were also likely a factor. As (NWG)’s longest route, Singapore to London would have the highest allocation of fuel costs among all (NWG)'s routes.
Long routes have always been challenging for (LCC)s as the cost gap with (FSC)s is less. The higher the fuel price is, the less the cost gap becomes. New generation airplanes such as the 787 help, but fuel is still a high proportion of total costs for low cost long haul routes. While (NWG) has been generating decent load factors on Singapore to London, the revenues it has been able to generate are simply not sufficient to cover the high cost (and the increasing cost) of the operation. (NWG) is better off focusing on other long haul routes (i.e. across the Atlantic) where the costs may be lower and the average yield higher.
* (NWG)'s suspension benefits one-stop Singapore to London competitors
(NWG)’s suspension will be disappointing to Singapore Changi Airport and Singapore consumers. However, several airlines will benefit from the suspension.
(NWG) provided the only low fare nonstop option from Singapore to London. (NWG) offers Singapore to London return fares that start at <SGD 600/USD 436 including taxes. The other 3 nonstop competitors (British Airways (BAB), Qantas (QAN) and Singapore Airlines (SIA)) generally do not have any fares below SGD 1200.
(SIA) has 4x-daily services from Singapore to London Heathrow, (BAB) has 2x-daily services, and (QAN) 1x-daily service. (SIA) currently has approximately a 50% share of Singapore to London seat capacity compared to 26% for (BAB), 17% for (QAN) and only 7% for (NWG). However, (NWG) is a larger competitor in the local Singapore to London market than (QAN), which resumed Singapore to London in March 2018 but does not have many seats available for local passengers as its Singapore to London service relies mainly on passengers originating in Australia.
News Item A-2: (NWG) took delivery of its 8th 737 MAX 8 (7000-64992, EI-FYH) with tail portrait of "Tycho Brahe," the Danish astronomer known for his accurate and comprehensive astronomical and planetary observations.
News Item A-3 See following Norway drone video:
October 2018: News Item A-1: Norwegian Air Argentina began domestic Argentine cabotage operations on October 16, with a Boeing 737-800 flight from Buenos Aires’s Aeroparque Jorge Newbery Airport to Cordoba’s Ingeniero Ambrosio Taravella International Airport.
The 1.5 year old 737-800 later continued domestic Argentine operations, comprising 2x-daily flights to Cordoba and daily service to Mendoza’s El Plumerillo International Airport according to (CEO) Ole Christian Melhus.
News Item A-2: Norway’s government plans to increase the tax on flights to destinations outside Europe and cut them for flights within the region as part of broader plans to use taxation to combat climate change. “Air passenger tax will be given an environmental profile through the introduction of distance-based differentiation with a higher rate outside Europe. It is intended for this to enter into effect on 1 April 2019,” the Norwegian government said as part of its 2019 budget.
News Item A-3: "Norwegian Warns High Oil Prices Will Squeeze Sector" by Helen Massy-Beresford (email@example.com), October 25, 2018.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG), while reporting a +18% rise in (NWG)’s 3rd quarter 2018 net profit, warned that high oil prices and a strong dollar will affect the entire aviation industry. (NWG) had “a solid result this quarter with a reduced unit cost despite strong growth,” (NWG) (CEO) Bjorn Kjos said. “Going forward the growth will slow down, and we will begin to reap the large investments we have made over the years, which will benefit customers, employees and shareholders.” But Kjos sounded a warning for the entire industry (which has seen a string of airline failures in recent weeks, including Primera Air (JTX)/(PRI) and Cobalt Air (FCB), highlighting the difficult conditions.
“There is no doubt that tough competition, high oil prices and a
strong dollar will affect the entire aviation industry, making it even
more important to further streamline our operations and continue
to reduce costs,” Kjos said. (NWG)’s strategy in recent years has been 1 of rapid international growth: since a giant order for 222 airplanes placed in 2012, (NWG) has been launching new routes and setting up new bases and subsidiaries and now has 23 operational bases world wide.
(NWG) began domestic services in Argentina (as Norwegian Air Argentina) earlier this month and said the USA now represents its largest market after Norway in terms of total revenue. But the speed of (NWG)’s expansion has raised questions among investors about debt levels, growth sustainability, and the (NWG)’s overall strategy.
On September 24 (NWG) announced it was pulling out of transatlantic routes from Edinburgh and Belfast. (NWG) has also been fending off takeover offers in recent months. Unit costs, including depreciation but excluding fuel, decreased by -10% in the quarter. Costs including fuel rose +1% year-over-year (YOY) in the quarter. (NWG) kept its prediction for unit costs excluding fuel and depreciation of between NOK 0.290 and NOK 0.295 for the full year, but said higher fuel prices meant that including fuel they would rise to between NOK 0.435 and NOK 0.440, up from NOK 0.425 to NOK 0.430.
“(NWG) may decide to adjust capacity in order to optimize the route portfolio depending on the development in the overall economy and in the marketplace,” (NWG) said.
* Revenue, Net Profit Growth
Net profit for the 3rd quarter reached NOK 1.3 billion/$156
million, while revenue rose +33% to NOK 13.4 billion as (NWG) carried around 11 million passengers in the quarter, a rise of +11%. But load factor was slightly lower at 90.5% LF, down from 91.7% LF. Capacity measured in available seat kilometers (ASK) grew +33%.
Bernstein analyst Daniel Roeska wrote in a research note that the quarter was good overall for (NWG) “with high traffic growth, a decent yield performance and progress on unit cost.” “However, while winter losses may be slightly lower than our pre-results estimate of NOK 4.2 billion, it will still likely be a close call whether a further equity raise will be required in 2019,” Roeska added. Roeska noted that while (NWG) had increased its level of fuel hedging for the 2nd half of the year (from 22% to 31%) this was at a higher cost than previous hedging contracts “pointing towards continued increases in fuel expenses.”
(NWG) took delivery of 1 new Boeing 787-9 and 4 Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplanes during the quarter. In 2018 as a whole, (NWG) will take delivery of 11 Boeing 787-9s, 12 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and 2 Boeing 737-800 airplanes that have already been delivered. 3 Airbus A320neo aircraft are scheduled for delivery in 2018 (these will be leased to HK Express (HKE). Going into the 4th quarter, (NWG) said demand and advance bookings have been “satisfactory.” (NWG) predicted capacity in (ASK) would grow +40% in 2018 as whole and +35% in the 4th quarter. In 2019 that growth will slow to 15 to 20%, (NWG) predicted.
News Item A-4: Lufthansa Technik (LTK) secured a 5-year contract extension from Norwegian (NWG) for (CFM56-7B) total engine support for 115 737NGs.
News Item A-5: See video of (NWG) 787 Boeing build at Everett, WA, USA:
See video of Norway:
See video of Visit Lofoten, Norway:
See video of Norway coastal inlet:
See video: More Norway:
November 2018: News Item A-1: "Norwegian Opens New South American Market" by (ATW) Alan Dron (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 27, 2018.
(LCC) Norwegian (NWG) plans to expand its penetration of the South American market with services from London Gatwick to Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão International Airport. Having begun services in Argentina with a new subsidiary last month, (NWG) believes that Brazil is another market ripe for its brand of long-haul, low-cost services.
(NWG) already operates a 4x-weekly service from Gatwick to Buenos Aires, a service that is scheduled to become a daily frequency from December 3 as a result of customer demand, (NWG) said.
In October 2018, (NWG) launched domestic flights in Argentina with routes from Buenos Aires to Mendoza and Cordoba, ahead of planned new routes to Salta, Iguazú, Bariloche and Neuquén.
For several years, UK travel industry pundits have predicted that Brazil will be “the next big thing” in destinations for UK tourists, but airfares have remained stubbornly high, restricting demand.
(NWG) intends to start a 4x-weekly London to Rio service on March 31, 2019, using a 344-seat Boeing 787-9 in a 2-class configuration.
(NWG) said fares will be lower than the sole incumbent on the route, British Airways (BAB. “Our new Rio de Janeiro route breaks the monopoly on direct flights between the UK and Brazil as we’re committed to lowering fares and making travel more affordable for all holidaymakers and business travelers, Norwegian (CEO) Bjørn Kjos said.
“The new direct flight from London to Rio de Janeiro by (NWG) is excellent news for connectivity between Brazil and the United Kingdom,” Brazil’s UK ambassador Fred Arruda said. “It will certainly increase the flow of tourists. It will also help to create jobs in our country and improve competition, potentially reducing costs for passengers.”
News Item A-2: "Norwegian Agrees to Sel0l 5 Airbus A320neos" by Victoria Moores (email@example.com), November 2, 2018.
Norwegian Air Shuttle (NWG) has agreed to sell 5 Airbus A320neos in a transaction expected to raise $62 million in liquidity. (NWG) said the aircraft, which belong to its Arctic Aviation Assets subsidiary, are leased out and not operated by its own airlines.
“Delivery will take place during the 4th quarter of 2018,” the company said on November 2. “The transaction is expected to increase the company’s liquidity by $62 million, after repayment of debt and have a positive equity effect. Sale proceeds will be used to repay debt and to increase the company´s liquidity.”
(NWG) operates >150 airplanes, with an average age of 3.6 years.
Earlier this year, (NWG) announced plans to sell most of the A320neos it has on order, a strategy that was reaffirmed on September 4 in an investor presentation. The large-scale asset disposal will cover up to 140 aircraft. According to Airbus (EDS), (NWG) has firm orders for 65 A320neos and 30 A321neos (the (LR) variant capable of transatlantic range flying. The fate of the larger variant is not clear as the airline may choose to keep some of them for the new Norwegian Air Argentina subsidiary. In addition to the Airbus order, (NWG) also bought 110 Boeing 737 MAXs.
(NWG) has reported a poor financial performance for some time as it continues with rapid expansion, particularly on long-haul routes.
News Item A-2: See video - More Norway
January 2019: News Item A-1: Norwegian (NWG) breaks passenger record in 2018 but clouds loom.
Norwegian (NWG) has reported its highest ever passenger figures in a single year, with >37 million travelers flying with the low-cost carrier (LCC) in 2018.
(NWG) also reported a load factor of 86% LF last year.
The launch of 35 new routes, the delivery of 25 brand new airplanes and a substantial increase of intercontinental traffic contributed considerably to the growth.
At the same time, last year was characterised by major investments, strong competition and a high oil price, all of which drove down the share price of (NWG).
In response, (NWG) has implemented a series of cost-reduction measures to boost its financials in 2019. The load factor, however, fell sharply to 78.6% LF during December.
(NWG) also revealed it made a loss of -US$232 million for the October to December quarter from fuel hedging.
(NWG) carried 37.34 million passengers in 2018, an increase of +13% compared to the previous year. The full-year load factor was 85.8% LF, down from 87.5% LF in 2017.
During 2018, (NWG) took delivery of 25 brand new airplanes and launched 35 new routes, primarily between Europe and the USA.
South America was welcomed to the network, with the launch of a direct route between London and Buenos Aires, as well as new domestic routes in Argentina. “The 2018 traffic figures demonstrate that our international footprint continues to grow stronger, in line with the Norwegian Group’s strategy. (NWG) has made considerable investments this year and will now enter a period of slower growth.
“We have adjusted and optimised our route portfolio and the capacity going forward. “We have also made seasonal adjustments for the winter,” said (NWG) (CEO), Bjørn Kjos.
News Item A-2: Norwegian: USA Sanctions Prevent Repair of (NWG) 737 Stranded in Iran" by (ATW) Alan Dron (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 7, 2019.
Long-haul (LCC) Norwegian (NWG) said it has been unable to service a Boeing 737 MAX 8 airplane that landed in Iran >3 weeks ago because USA sanctions on the country made it difficult to obtain the required spare part. The airplane diverted to Shiraz in western Iran on December 14 after developing an engine-related problem during a flight from Dubai to Oslo, (NWG) said.
A replacement airplane was dispatched to continue the journey to Norway and the other 737 has remained in Iran.
“There’s a technical issue with the airplane that requires a new part,” a (NWG) spokesman in London told (ATW). “Our maintenance technicians (MT)s have been to Iran to investigate, but due to sanctions, that has caused a delay in getting the airplane. “We are working on multiple options to get the airplane back into service but have no definite timeline for that as yet.”
The USA reimposed sanctions on Iran in 2018 after withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) (a deal between the USA, the (EU), China, Russia, Iran, France, Germany and the UK) which set the lifting of specific sanctions against Iran linked to civilian trade and finance against restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program development.
The renewed sanctions include a ban on the export of USA manufactured airplanes or airplanes containing >10% of (USA) originating components to Iran. Spare parts fallen under that ban.
Under the USA Iranian Transaction & Sanctions Regulations, “specific licenses may be issued, on a case-by-case basis, for the exportation and re-exportation of goods, services and technology to insure the safety of civil aviation and safe operation of USA-origin commercial passenger airplanes.”
It is not clear whether the components required for the (NWG) airplane meet those criteria.
Click below for photos:
NWG-737 MAX - 2012-01
NWG-737 MAX - 2013-04
NWG-737 MAX - 2017-07.jpg
NWG-737 MAX 8 LN-BKC 2018-02.jpg
NWG-737-3K9 - Last 737-300 - 2015-12.jpg
NWG-737-800 - 2014-09
NWG-737-800 - 2015-02.jpg
NWG-737-86J LN-NIB 2018-04.jpg
NWG-737-8JP Fridt jof Nansen 2018-01.jpg
NWG-787 - 2012-03
NWG-787 - 2013-07
NWG-787 - 2013-08
NWG-787 - 2013-09
NWG-787 O Leary 2017.jpg
NWG-787-8 - 2016-02.jpg
NWG-787-8 - 2017-02.jpg
NWG-787-8 G-CKNA Freddy Mercury 2018-09.jpg
NWG-A321 - 2016-11.jpg
0 737-3K2 (CFM56-3C1) (1683-24326, /89 LN-KKF "REAL NORWEGIAN FRIDTJOF NANSEN"), EX-(TAV), (TBC) LEASED 2002-10. RETIRED. 148Y.
0 737-3K2 (CFM56-3C1) (1712-24327, /89 LN-KKG "REAL NORWEGIAN GIDSKEN JACOBSEN;" 1856-24328, /90 LN-KKH "REAL NORWEGIAN OTTO SVERDRUP"), (TAV) LEASED 2002-10. RETIRED. 148Y.
0 737-3K2 (CFM56-3C1) (1858-24329, /90 LN-KKI "HELGE INGSTAD"), (ILF) LEASED 2002-11. RETIRED. 148Y.
0 737-3K9 (CFM56-3B2) (1794-24213, /89 LN-KKW), EX-(MAE), BF (BAV) 2006-02. THIS WAS THE LAST (NWG) 737-300 RETIRED ON 2015-12. DONATED TO NORWEGIAN AVIATION MUSEUM. 148Y.
0 737-3L9 (CFM56-3C1) (2587-27336, LN-KKT, 2006-07; 2594-27337, /94 G-IGOU 2006-01), BOUGHT FROM (EZY) 2006-01. RETIRED. 148Y.
0 737-3M8 (CFM56-3B2) (2017-25040, /91 LN-KKP "REAL NORWEGIAN KIRSTEN FLAGSTAD"), (BBB) LEASED 2004-03. RETURNED. 148Y.
0 737-3S3 (CFM56-3) (3061-29245, LN-KKY), (SNR) LEASED 2006-08. RETIRED. 148Y.
0 737-3YO (CFM56-3B2) (1829-24676, LN-KKM "THOR HEYERDAHL;" 2021-24909, LN-KKO; 2030-24910, LN-KKN "SIGRID UNDSET"), EX-(HGA), (GEF) LEASED 2003-03. 24910 LEASED TO (AUA) TIL 2003-09. ALL RETIRED. 148Y.
0 737-3YO (CFM56-3B2) (1629-24256, /88 LN-KKR), (BBB) LEASED 2004-10. RETIRED. 148Y.
0 737-3Y5 (CFM56-3C1) (2446-25613, /93 LN-KKV), EX-(MLT). RETIRED. 138Y.
0 737-31S (CFM56-3C1) (2984-29100, /97 LN-KHA; 3070-29264, /98 LN-KHB; 3073-29265, /98 LN-KHC), EX-(CRM) 2008-09 EX-(SX-BGW, SX-BGY & SX-BGZ). WITH WINGLETS. ALL RETIRED. 148Y.
0 737-33A (CFM56-3B2) (1729-24094, /89 LN-KKS, 2005-04; 2959-27458, LN-KKZ, 2006-08), EX-(ANZ), VOLITO SOUTH PACIFIC LEASED. ALL RETIRED. 148Y.
0 737-33S (CFM56-3C1) (3012-29072, /98 LN-KKX), WITH WINGLETS. RETIRED. 148Y.
0 737-33V (CFM56-3C1) (3119-29339, /99 LN-KKD), (GEF) LEASED 2007-08. RETIRED. 148Y.
0 737-36N (CFM56-3C1) (2936-28564, /97 LN-KKJ "SONJA HENIE"; 2955-28671 /97 LN-KKL "ROALD AMUNDSEN"), EX-(VAR), (GEF) LEASED 2002-09. ALL RETIRED. 148Y.
0 737-505 (CFM56-3) (2245-25790, /92 LN-BRU "THOR HEYERDAHL"), (ILF) 5 MONTH LEASED 2002-08. 25790 RETURNED 2003-02.
0 737-8BK (CFM56-7B) (1672-33022, LN-KHD), 2009-11, EX-(G-CDEG). RETURNED TO (TCI). 189Y.
2 737-8FZ (CFM56-7B) (2483-34954, /07 LN-NOB "REAL NORWEGIAN EDVARD GRIEG" 2008-01; 3140-29674, LN-NOU "CARL VON LINNE SWEDISH NATURAL SCIENTIST" 2010-01), (BBB) LEASED, WITH WINGLETS. 186Y.
1 737-8FZ (CFM56-7B) (3215-31713, /10 EI-FHH "EVERT TAUBE SWEDISH POET"), (BBB) LEASED. WITH WINGLETS. 189Y.
3 737-8JP (CFM56-7B) (3194-37816, /10 LN-NOT "PIET HEINDANISH PHILOSOPHER;" 3364-37817, /10 LN-NOW "ODA KROHG NORWEGIAN PAINTER;" 3384-37818, /10 LN-NOX "CHRISTIAN KROGH NORWEGIAN PAINTER"), (TCI) LEASED 2010-03. WITH WINGLETS. 186Y.
15 737-8JP (CFM56-7B) (2994-39162, /09 LN-DYA "ERIK BYE NORWEGIAN ARTIST;" 3054-39163, /09 LN-DYB "BYORNSTJERNE BJORNSON NORWEGIAN WRITER;" 3196-39164, /10 LN-DYC "MAX MANUS NORWEGIAN RESISTANCE HERO;" 3231-39002, /10 LN-DYD "H C ANDERSEN DANISH WRITER;" 3401-39003, /10 LN-DYE "ARNE JACOBSEN DANISH ARCHITECT;" 3410-40865, /10 LN-DYH "SOREN KIERKEGAARD DANISH PHILOSOPHER;" 3483-39004, /10 LN-DYF "FRIDTJOF NANSEN NORWEGIAN EXPLORER;" 3507-39165, /10 LN-DYG "JENNY LIND SWEDISH OPERA SINGER;" 39015, LN-NGB "GEIRR TVEITT NORWEGIAN COMPOSER" 2012-06; 4157-39016, LN-NGC "JENS GLAD BALCHEN;" 3530-39045,/11 LN-DYJ "GEORG BRANDES DANISH LITERARY CRITIC;" 39435, LN-NIE; 3660-40870, /11 LN-DYR "PETER C ASBJORNSEN/JORGEN MOE;" 3665-39007, /11 LN-DYS "NIELS HENRIKABEL NORWEGIAN MATHEMATICIAN;" 39022, LN-NGK; 3686-39048, /11 LN-DYT "KIRSTEN FLAGSTAD NORWEGIAN OPERA SINGER;" 43878, LN-NIG; 43879, LN-NIH), WITH WINGLETS. 186Y.
1 737-8JP (CFM56-7B) (41136, LN-NHE), (DY9) LEASING LEASED 2015-05. 186Y.
2 737-8Q8 (CFM56-7B26) (2629-35280, /08 LN-NOD "REAL NORWEGIAN SONJA HENIE;" 2742-35283, /08 LN-NOE "HENRIK WERGELAND NORWEGIAN POET"), (ILF) LEASED 2008-12. 189Y.
1 737-8Q8 (CFM56-7B26) (2868-37159, /09 EI-FHE), (ILF) LEASED 2009-04 (BOEING'S 6,000TH 737 DELIVERY - - SEE ATTACHED PHOTO - - "NWG-737-8Q8 6000-2009-04." THIS AIRPLANE NOW FLIES FOR NORWEGIAN AIR INTERNATIONAL (NAI) IN 2018. 189Y.
71 +16/14 ORDERS 737-800 (CFM56-7B), WITH WINGLETS. 186Y.
1 737-800 (CFM56-7B26) (EI-FJE "GILIKEN JACOBSEN").
2 737-81D (CFM56-7B26) (3878-39419, /12 LN-NOY; 3891-39420, /12 LN-NOZ), (AWW) LEASED 2012-01. WITH WINGLETS. 186Y.
1 737-81Q (CFM56-7B27) (1007-30785, /01 LN-NOC "REAL NORWEGIAN OLE BULL"), (FLYL) LEASED 2008-02. WITH WINGLETS. 186Y.
1 737-86J (CFM56-7B) (36879, LN-NIB), EX-(D-ABMA), 2011-10. 189Y.
5 737-86N (CFM56-7B) (28620, LN-NON "ANDERS CELSIUS;" 2927-35467, LN-NOG, 2009-06; 36809, EI-GBB; 3015-36814, LN-NOH, 2009-09; 3131-36820, LN-NOI 2009-12; 3223-37884, LN-NOJ, 2010-03; LN-NOQ, 2009-12 - - SEE PHOTO - - "NWG-737-86N 2009-12"), (GEF) LEASED. 28620; FOR (NOQ) OPERATIONS. 28620 RETURNED TO SASOFF 2016-08. 189Y.
0 737-86Q (CFM56-7B) (30289, LN-NOO) END OF LEASE - TO BUDAPEST 2016-08. 189Y.
8 +95/92 ORDERS 737 MAX 8 (CFM LEAP 1B) (42825, EI-FYC; 42826, EI-FYB; 42827, EI-FYE; 42828, EI-FYD; 42829, EI-FYF; 42830, EI-FYA; 7000-64992, EI-FYH "TYCHO BRAHE - DANISH ASTRONOMER"), (NWG) IS EUROPEAN LAUNCH CUSTOMER. THESE 6 737 MAX 8'S OPERATE FOR NORWEGIAN AIR INTERNATIONAL (NAI) IN 2018.
1 757-204 (RB211-535E4) (520-26966, /92 G-LSAM), (JT2) WET-LEASED 2011-03 FOR (NAI) OPERATIONS. (ETOPS) EQUIPPED. 229Y.
1 757-236 (RB211-535E4) (292-24793, /90 G-LSAJ), (JT2) WET-LEASED 2008-05. FOR (NAI) OPERATIONS. (ETOPS) EQUIPPED. 229Y.
8 787-808 DREAMLINER (TRENT 1000) (35304, EI-LNA "SONIA HENIE - NORWEGIAN OLYMPIC CHAMPION," 2013-06 - - SEE PHOTO - - "NWG-2013-06 - 1ST 787;" 35305; 35306; 279-36526 LN-LNH "H. C. ANDERSON;" 37307, LN-LNI, 2017-02), (DEA) 12 YEAR LEASED 2013-06 FOR (NAI) OPERATIONS. 291 PAX.
1 787-808 DREAMLINER (TRENT 1000), EX-(ICE), FOR (NAI) OPERATIONS. 291 PAX.
3 787-9 DREAMLINER (TRENT 1000-TEN) (400-37307, LN-LNI, "GRETA GARBO" 2017-02; 38779, LN-LNO*, 2018-06; 593-38784, G-CKNA "FREDDY MERCURY" 2018-12), *EX-(G-CJUL) FOR NORWEGIAN LONG HAUL OPERATIONS. 35 PREMIUM, 209Y.
19/10 ORDERS (2017-02) 787-9 (TRENT 1000-TEN), 35 PREMIUM, 209Y:
5 ORDERS 787-9 (TRENT 1000-TEN):
2 ORDERS (2018-02) 787-9 (TRENT 1000-TEN), 35 PREMIUM, 209Y:
2 ORDERS 787-9 (TRENT 1000-TEN), (MG) AVIATION LEASED FOR (NAI) OPERATIONS:
4 ORDERS 787-9 (TRENT 1000-TEN), (ILF) LEASED FOR (NAI) OPERATIONS:
1 +99/50 ORDERS A320-200neos (PW1100G-JM), ARCTIC AVIATION ASSETS (AAA) LEASED. LEASED TO HK EXPRESS 2016-12 (THE LATTER WILL BE SOLD).
2 A340-313X (CFM56-5C4) (117, /96 CS-TQM; EX-(SIA)/(EAD; 202, CS-TQZ), EX-(A6-EYC & A6-ERR), HIFLY (LXA) WET-LEASED (2013-06). 10F, 30C, 225Y.
2 F 50 (PW125B) (20130, /88 LN-BBA; 20131, /88 LN-BBB; 20134, /88 LN-BBC; 20117, /88 LN-KKA; 20230, /91 LN-KKD; 20226, /91 LN-KKE), LEASED, 20130; 20131; 20134; SOLD TO K-AIR 2004-04. 20117 BROKEN UP 2004-12. 50Y.
Click below for photos:
NWG-1-Bjorn Kjos - RYR Michael OLeary-2017-02.jpg
NWG-1-BJORN KJOS-TO USA-2014-07
NWG-3-Tore Ostby - 2017-09.jpg
BJORN KISE, CHAIRMAN.
BJOERN KJOS, FOUNDER & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER (CEO).
March 2014: Interview by Amy Hanna, Anna Aero (aa) - - SEE PHOTO - - "NWG-1-BJOERN KJOS-2014-03:"
aa: You’ve been going around making claims that Norwegian (NWG) will become the world’s 1st truly global airline, without any geographical division. How is (NWG) accomplishing this goal, and can you please provide some information on the latest developments in its low-cost, long-haul offering?
BK: We aim to accomplish the goal of becoming the world’s 1st truly global airline by taking delivery of brand new airplanes and offering innovative service, competitive fares and industry-leading products to our customers. Our philosophy is that everyone should be able to afford to fly. While traditional airlines grow outside their home markets by entering into joint ventures, co-operations or alliances (and let their locally based alliance partners fly their customers) we fly our customers ourselves to their destination. You already see the outlines of a global presence through our crew bases in Thailand and the USA.
Our long-haul routes have been very well received so far with practically full flights. We currently offer long-haul flights between Bangkok and Scandinavia, as well as between USA destinations like New York, Fort Lauderdale, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlando, and Scandinavia. We’re also looking forward to flying long-haul from London Gatwick this summer. There’s great demand for high-quality flights at a low fare between the UK and the USA, particularly to and from London Gatwick, where no other airline currently offers these routes. By launching long-haul routes between the UK and the USA, we also get a stronger foothold in markets outside Scandinavia, which is a part of our strategy to expand internationally.
aa: What have been the challenges of promoting a region-specific brand (Norwegian) in traffic-generating markets like the UK, and this year in Germany, in Spain? How much assistance does (NWG) receive from the airports, and what ways does (NWG) have of getting its message out to potential UK and German travelers wanting to go to Spain?
BK: That’s a long list. I’ll try my best. Once again, we believe that our low prices, vast route network and brand new airplanes speak for themselves and that this is what makes customers choose to fly with Norwegian (NWG). At the same time, it’s important to have a good relationship with the airports we fly to and from. Having a close relationship with the airports, means that we can offer passengers an even better product; we’re committed to being forward-thinking and innovative with our services and this is evident at many of the airports we work with.
aa: What developments are we looking out for in 2014? Will we be seeing the establishment of any new bases for example?
BK: We have many plans in the pipeline this year with the delivery of many new airplanes. A total of 14 brand new 737-800s will be delivered in 2014 plus 4 787s by the end of the 2nd quarter (Q2).
(NWG) will continue to expand and open up new bases around the world. The 1st half of 2014 will see the opening of several bases in the USA and in Spain: – this is just the beginning. The bases are and will be located where Norwegian (NWG) either has several routes in operation or plans to open more routes.
ASGEIR NYSETH, (CEO) NORWEGIAN AIR INTERNATIONAL (NAI).
LENNART CEDER, (CEO) NORWEGIAN AIR UK (NUK).
OLE CHRISTIAN MELHUS, (CEO) NORWEGIAN AIR ARGENTINA (2017-05).
STIG WILLASSEN, MANAGING DIRECTOR & CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER (COO).
OLA HROHN-FAGERVOLL, EXECUTIVE VP.
MS ANNE-SISSEL SKANVIK, SENIOR VP CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS (2009-02).
LASSE SANDAKER-NIELSEN, VP CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS.
MS ANNE GRETE ELLINGSEN, VP INFORMATION.
TORE OSTBY, ACTING CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER (CFO).
TOMAS HESTHAMMER, DIRECTOR FLIGHT OPERATIONS.
SVERRE CHRISTENSEN, TECHNICAL DIRECTOR.
THOMAS RAMDAHL, CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER (CCO).
DANIEL SKJELDAM, CHIEF COMMERCIAL OFFICER (CCO).
2012-05: anna-aero interview:
anna.aero (aa): You have recently put in very large narrow-body airplane orders with both Airbus (EDS) and Boeing (TBC). Are they all for use at your bases in northern Europe or do you intend to set up AirAsia (ASWE)-style branded joint ventures (JV)s in other parts of the world as you go long haul and seek feed at the other end?
Skjeldam (Sk): We see a lot of potential in Europe. I cannot discuss what we will do in the future, but there is a lot of growth potential where we operate today. I believe we can utilize the airplanes we have ordered on our existing business model. We plan to replace our airplanes quite often and keep up with new technology. Our airplane orders give us great flexibility – flexibility is the key in terms of how we manage our airplanes.
aa: If you base your long haul airplanes at the other end of the route, will you be serving your Nordic bases only, where you have connectivity, or are you looking at destinations in all of Europe?
Sk: To start with, we will see enough demand in the Nordic countries. We believe Asian carriers will be competitive in years to come and we need to be in a position to compete with them. In Bangkok, for example, we plan to employ Thai crew.
aa: Are any long haul destinations other than Bangkok and New York confirmed yet?
Sk: I am not saying which other long haul routes we plan to operate yet, but we are having a lot of dialogue with other airports around the world. When we launch our long haul services in 2013, there could be >2 announced routes – Bangkok and New York.
aa: In Europe, you have moved to a couple of more low-cost oriented airports: from Düsseldorf to Cologne/Bonn and gradually from Vienna to Bratislava. Why? Are you trying to differentiate yourselves more from legacy network carriers?
Sk: We see Vienna and Bratislava as complementary and are operating at both. We have moved from Düsseldorf to Cologne/Bonn partly because of the night curfew and partly because the cost level at Cologne/Bonn is lower. We are not trying to differentiate from the legacy network carriers, it’s about knowing our customers and where they are going, and streamlining operations.
MS HELGA BOLLMANN LEKNES, CHIEF HUMAN RESOURCES (HR) OFFICER, NORWEGIAN GROUP.
HANS-PETTER AANEBY, DIRECTOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY (IT) & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, & CHIEF INFORMATION OFFICER (CIO).
DOMINIC TUCKER, HEAD SALES - UK (2015-09).
MITCHELL HAWES, SALES MANAGER - UK.