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Travel industry news

07 Jan 2019

BY James Chapple

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TRFBLI

Norwegian confirms ‘cost-reduction measures’ to shore up 2019 financials

Norwegian has confirmed it has begun implementing “cost-reduction measures” to safeguard its financial security entering 2019.

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Norwegian confirms ‘cost-reduction measures’ to shore up 2019 financials

The low-cost carrier said it was taking action on account of “continued tough competition, high oil prices and operational challenges”.


Measures include “adjusting and optimising” its route portfolio and capacity, including “seasonal adjustments for the winter.”


“Norwegian has implemented a series of cost-reduction measures to boost its financials in 2019,” said the airline in a statement, issued on Monday morning (January 7).


The announcement came as Norwegian reported its highest single-year passenger figures to date after carrying 37.3 million passengers (+13%) last year on a full-year load factor of 85.8%, down from 87.5%.


Last year, the airline launched 35 new routes and took deliver of 25 new aircraft.


These included a direct London-Buenos Aires service, as well as a domestic network in Argentina.
It also increased frequency on some of its “most popular routes” at Gatwick, and hired more than 2,000 new staff.


Chief executive Bjorn Kjos said: “The 2018 traffic figures demonstrate our international footprint continues to grow stronger, in line with the Norwegian Group’s strategy.


“The company 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.


“Continued tough competition, high oil prices and operational challenges in 2018 combined with the issues with Rolls Royce engines, which have particularly affected our long-haul operations, have had an impact on our financial results in the latter half of 2018.


“We have launched a series of cost-reduction measures to boost our financials in 2019, which will have an immediate and continued positive influence throughout the year.”


The airline added it had hedged fuel for 2019, losses for which had been included in 2018 results. “Norwegian is therefore well positioned, when compared to other airlines, in regards to fuel hedging,” it said.


Norwegian was the subject of interest from IAG last year, although a takeover failed to materialise.


And despite suggestions of interest from other airlines, no suitor has yet made a significant move for the budget carrier.

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