Low-cost carrier Norwegian has reported a net loss of £27.4 million in 2017, blaming “extraordinary costs”.
The airline says significant costs related to increased fuel prices, wet lease and passenger care affected its results. The loss is a stark contrast to the company’s £100 million profit in 2016.
Norwegian’s total revenue was almost £2.8 billion, up 19 per cent on 2016. A total of 32 new aircraft contributed to a 25 per cent increase in available seat kilometres (ASK). Load factor remained flat at 88 per cent, while the carrier saw 33 million passengers for the year – up 13 per cent on 2016.
The news of the loss comes just days after the airline announced it would focus its long-haul growth on destinations from the UK market, including the replacement of its Gatwick Dreamliner fleet with aircraft featuring a new, expanded Premium cabin.
CEO Bjorn Kjos commented: “We are not at all satisfied with the 2017 results. However, the year was also characterised by global expansion driven by new routes, high load factors and continued fleet renewal. Through our global strategy, we contribute to local economic boost and increased employment at our destinations, as well as ensuring that more people can afford to fly – not least between the continents.”
Kjos claimed the airline is “far better positioned for 2018” and has already seen stronger forward bookings on its growing international network. He said Norwegian’s growth strategy would hit its peak in the second half of 2018, when 32 of its 42 Dreamliners on order will have been put into service.