Norwegian Air Shuttle has applied for an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the Swedish Transport Agency.
The carrier says that the move will help it to increase its operations out of Sweden, specifically out of Stockholm. Norwegian says that the new AOC will also help it to expand more internationally, both in Europe and around the world.
Bjorn Kjos, the CEO of Norwegian Air Shuttle, says that, should Norwegian be granted a Swedish AOC, it will be able to gain more traffic rights in Scandinavia.
“[A Swedish AOC will lead to] more direct flights, increased tourism and more jobs,” Kjos said.
No timeline has been disclosed for the proceedings.
The announcement comes soon after Norwegian decided to put talks of a takeover on hold. The carrier posted a surprise profit in the 2nd Quarter of 2018, leading Kjos to say that it is “too early to sell” the carrier. Norwegian reported 14% passenger growth in June.
Norwegian has, in recent years, experienced immense growth to the United States, to Canada, to Argentina, and throughout Europe. Numerous expansions have brought Norwegian into the forefront of low-cost travel across the Atlantic, and the carrier is becoming quite popular among travellers looking to fly between the Americas and Europe cheaply.
Though many might argue that a Swedish AOC will help the airline to continue this growth, some may wonder whether Norwegian is expanding too quickly. Norwegian has already been forced to cut frequencies on multiple international routes due to low demand, and it has been experiencing 787 fleet troubles caused by a fault with Rolls Royce engines. Until last quarter, the airline posted multiple losses that led some to call its business models into question.
Nevertheless, only time can tell if expanding with a Swedish AOC can truly benefit Norwegian.
Norwegian was honored as the World’s Best Low-Cost Long-Haul Airline and Europe’s Best Low-Cost Airline at the Skytrax World Airline Awards ceremony earlier this month.
Featured image by Norwegian Air Shuttle