Low-fare carrier Norwegian has confirmed it is implementing a series of cost-cutting measures for 2019 as it reported a 13 per cent increase in passenger numbers in 2018.
The airline carried more than 37 million passengers, though its load factor was down nearly 2 per cent to 85.8 per cent.
Passenger numbers were boosted by the launch of 35 new routes during 2018, while Norwegian took delivery of 25 new aircraft. The carrier also began operating a subsidiary in Argentina and increased frequency on a number of popular routes.
However, confirming media speculation that the airline is running into financial troubles, Norwegian has confirmed that it faced “strong competition and a high oil price” in 2018, which has forced it to implement a series of undisclosed cost-cutting measures to improve its performance in 2019.
CEO Bjorn Kjos commented: “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.”
Praising the airline’s performance last year, Kjos continued: “The 2018 traffic figures demonstrate that our international footprint continues to grow stronger, in line with 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.”