Norwegian Air will suspend several transatlantic services this winter despite reporting solid growth in March.
Low-cost long-haul carrier Norwegian will halt services from Edinburgh, Shannon, and Cork to Providence, Rhode Island from the end of October “due to lower demand” through the winter. The services were all previously scheduled as year-round.
In a statement, the carrier said: “Following a comprehensive review of our services, we have decided to suspend flights from Edinburgh, Cork, and Shannon to Providence during the quieter winter period.
“We will continue to assess our transatlantic route performance as we confirm the route schedule for next summer.”
Norwegian recently announced a doubling of services on the Shannon-Providemce route from two to four a day. It launched the Edinburgh-Providence services last year.
The carrier reported a heavier than expected loss of $117 million (NKr919 million) for the final quarter of 2017 and a net loss for the year of NKr299 million in a drop from a Nkr1.1 billion profit in 2016.
The losses led aviation analysts to warn that the airline needs to show improvement for its investment case to stand up.
On the other hand, Norwegian reported a total of 2,816,164 passengers in March; 362,613 more passengers than the same period last year. The total traffic growth (RPK) increased by 48 percent, while the capacity growth (ASK) increased by 44 percent. The load factor was 86.7 percent, up 2.6 percentage points.
Norwegian said the growth had been influenced by what it called the “Easter effect” as Easter was in March this year, consequently increasing traffic, adding that “we will therefore see the opposite effect for the April figures”.
“Even though Easter strongly impacts this month’s figures, we have a solid passenger growth. The international growth continues, and at the same time, more people are flying with us in Scandinavia. Our low fares and extensive route offering attract more business and leisure passengers,” said CEO of Norwegian Bjørn Kjos.
Norwegian operated 98.4 percent of the scheduled flights in March, where of 72.3 percent departed on time.
Norwegian’s fleet renewal program continues with full force in 2018. The company took delivery of three Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners in March. This year in total, Norwegian will take delivery of eleven Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, twelve Boeing 737 MAX8s, and two Boeing 737-800s. With an average age of only 3.6 years, Norwegian’s fleet is one of the world’s most efficient and most modern.
Featured image by Ljósmynd/Norwegian via mbl.is