Norwegian reported its highest ever passenger figures in a single year with more than 33 million passengers and a load factor of 87.5 per cent in 2017. The launch of 54 new routes and a substantial increase of intercontinental traffic contributed considerably to the growth.
Passenger growth, more new aircraft and high load factors characterized 2017. The company carried more than 33.15 million passengers in 2017, 3.8 million more than the previous year. The company took delivery of 32 brand new aircraft and launched 54 new routes, mainly between Europe and the U.S. The Group hired approximately 2,000 new staff members. The 2017 load factor was 87.5 per cent, compared to 87.7 percent the previous year.
Norwegian also received several international customer awards in 2017, including two SkyTrax Awards: ‘Europe’s best low-cost carrier’ for the fifth consecutive year and the ‘World's best low-cost long-haul airline’ for the third year in a row.
Norwegian CEO Bjørn Kjos said: “The 2017 traffic figures show that our international footprint grows stronger, in line with the Norwegian Group’s strategy. Our Scandinavian operation is stable and positive, and we see that our long-haul and short-haul networks complement each other, consequently strengthening our competitiveness. Our growing long-haul networks from the UK and Ireland continue to be well-received by passengers, proving the demand for high-quality, affordable travel. Increased tourism creates economic value and new jobs at all the destinations we serve.”
Passenger growth in December
December 2017 was also characterised by passenger growth and a solid load factor. Norwegian carried 2,402,005 passengers in December, up 12 per cent from the same month last year. Both the capacity growth (ASK) and the traffic growth (RPK) were 32 per cent. The load factor was 84.6 per cent, the same as December 2016.
Bjorn Kjos said: “December has been a busy travel month in all markets we serve. This winter, we once again offer flights between the U.S. East Coast and the French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, enabling the company to achieve better fleet utilization in low season in Europe.”
Norwegian operated 99.3 percent of its scheduled flights in December, of which 68.2 per cent departed on time.