Airline Norwegian gets post-Covid boost to profits and passenger numbers

Low-cost airline Norwegian, which operates several services out of Denmark and Sweden as well as Norway, says it can feel the effects on its bottom line of the end of Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Airline Norwegian gets post-Covid boost to profits and passenger numbers
A Norwegian aircraft prepares to land at Barcelona Airport. The company's passenger numbers are up after previous Covid-19-related struggles. File photo: JOSEP LAGO / AFP

The second quarter of 2022 saw Norwegian register profits totalling 1.2 billion Norwegian kroner. Just under five million passengers flew with the company, according to results published by Norwegian on Thursday.

In comparison, just 380,000 passengers flew with Norwegian during the corresponding quarter in 2021, when Covid-19 restrictions were still having major effects on the aviation sector.

The company suffered severely in 2020 as Covid-19 restrictions compounded existing economic difficulties.

It should be noted that the registered profit is due to a return of 2.1 billion kroner received by Norwegian in relation to advanced payments on aircraft purchases. Without this, the company would have registered a loss.

“The quarter shows we are good at adapting and that we can quickly adjust operations to an increasing demand,” Norwegian CEO Geir Karlsen said in a comment on the results.

“I am particularly pleased that we are among the very best on regularity in a period with capacity limitations in many airports and with a strike by flight mechanics in Norway,” he said.

Norwegian was able to operate almost all of its scheduled flights – 99.4 percent – in the second quarter.

The return of passengers has also seen the company fill more of its services to capacity. Average capacity on the airline’s flights in the second quarter was 81.2 percent.

The results also note an agreement with Boeing to purchase 50 aircraft, which will be supplied in the period 2025-28.

“The agreement with Boeing is important when we write the next chapter for Norwegian. The agreement makes it possible for us to own a large part of our own fleet, which strengthens our position in the Nordic region,” Karlsen said.

READ ALSO: Norwegian Air to seek bankruptcy protection in Norway

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Scandinavian airline SAS plans to launch electric planes in 2028 

Despite a number of economic challenges, airline SAS has announced an agreement with a Swedish company that will enable it to purchase electric aircraft and add them to its fleet. 

Scandinavian airline SAS plans to launch electric planes in 2028 

SAS has signed an agreement with Swedish company Heart Aerospace that could see it operating electric planes from 2028, the airline said in a press statement.

The model of plane that SAS would purchase from Heart Aerospace seats 30 passengers and has a range of 200 kilometers, SAS wrote.

“Along with the entire industry, we are responsible for making air travel more sustainable,” CEO of SAS Anko van der Werff said in the statement.

“SAS is dedicated to transforming air travel so future generations can continue to connect the world and enjoy the benefits of travel – but with a more sustainable footprint,” he said.

The aircraft will be installed with a hybrid system enabling them to double their range, SAS wrote.

“This has the potential to be a significant step on SAS’ sustainability journey, enabling zero-emission flights on routes within Scandinavia,” the press release stated. 

SAS has previously been involved in the development of another electric aircraft, the ES-30, which it partnered with Heart Aerospace on in 2019.

“The electric airplane will be a good supplement to our existing fleet, serving shorter routes in Denmark, Norway and Sweden in a more sustainable way,” van der Werff said.

READ MORE: SAS cancels 1,700 flights in September and October