Oslo, Norway (July 11, 2019) - Norwegian’s second quarter results are characterized by reduced growth and improved profitability, in line with the company’s strategy. Despite the reduced production growth and grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, the underlying operating result before ownership costs more than doubled from the same quarter in 2018.
The underlying operating result before ownership costs was more than 2.3 billion Norwegian kroner (NOK), the highest ever in a second quarter and NOK 1.2 billion higher than last year.The unit revenue (RASK) increased by 13 percent, and the revenue per passenger per kilometer (yield) increased by 11 percent. For the second quarter, the total revenue was more than NOK 12 billion, an increase of 19 percent from the same period last year, primarily driven by intercontinental growth. Almost 10 million passengers flew with Norwegian this quarter, on par with the same quarter in 2018. The load factor was 88 percent, up 1.2 percentage points from last year.
Norwegian’s key priority is returning to profitability through a series of measures, including an optimized route portfolio and an extensive cost-reduction program. The production growth (ASK) in the second quarter was six percent, down from the peak growth of 48 percent in the second quarter of 2018. The company’s internal cost reduction program #Focus2019 continues with full effect and achieved cost reductions this quarter were NOK 554 million, consequently reaching the goal of NOK 1 billion so far in 2019.
“Norwegian’s Q2 results show that we are delivering on our strategy of moving from growth to profitability. Despite operational issues outside of our control, like the grounding of our 737 MAX fleet, we are delivering the highest second quarter operating revenue in the history of Norwegian. I am also pleased with the booking figures for the coming months, especially on long-haul,” said CEO of Norwegian, Bjørn Kjos.
During the second quarter, Norwegian has introduced four Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners to its fleet. With an average age of only 3.8 years, Norwegian’s fleet is one of the most fuel efficient and most modern in the world.
In March, Norwegian temporarily suspended operation of 18 Boeing MAX 8 aircraft. The company has combined flights, booked customers to other departures within Norwegian’s own network, consequently reducing the impact on passengers. The company will continue to limit passenger disruptions by also offering flights with wetlease companies whenever necessary.
The 737 MAX grounding has affected both demand, operating expenses and production negatively. Norwegian expects the negative impact on the 2019 results to be approximately NOK 700 million.
New awards in Q2
This quarter Norwegian received numerous awards and recognitions:
- “World’s Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline” for the fifth consecutive year at the Skytrax World Airline Awards in June.
- “Europe's Leading Low-Cost Airline” for the fifth consecutive year at the World Travel Awards in June.
- Norwegian Reward, the award-winning loyalty program of Norwegian, was named “Program of the Year Europe & Africa” for the third consecutive year at the Freddie Awards in April.
- “Best Low-Cost Carrier in Europe” at the Passenger Choice Awards™ in April.
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Norwegian is the world’s fifth largest low-cost airline and carried over 37 million passengers in 2018. The airline operates more than 500 routes to over 150 destinations in Europe, North Africa, Middle East, Thailand, North and South America. Norwegian has a fleet of more than 170 aircraft, with an average age of 3.8 years, making it one of the world’s youngest and “greenest” fleets.
Norwegian has been named the Most Fuel-Efficient Airline on Transatlantic Routes by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) twice. Norwegian has been voted ‘Europe’s Best Low-Cost Airline’ by passengers for six consecutive years at the SkyTrax World Airline Awards 2013-2018, along with being named the ‘World’s Best Low-Cost Long-Haul’ Airline’ for the past five years. Norwegian employs more than 11,000 people worldwide.