Low-cost carrier Norwegian said current booking trends are positive and a recently negotiated deal with Boeing for narrowbody aircraft is “key” for its next chapter.
“Current booking trends are encouraging with many customers booking their autumn holidays,” the budget carrier said in its second quarter financial results statement on August 25, 2022. The airline operated 65 aircraft in the second quarter of 2022 and plans to increase this to 70 this year before growing its fleet to 85 for the summer of 2023.
In the second quarter, the carrier said pretax profit reached NOK1.248 billion ($129 million), down 55% from one year ago, hurt by soaring fuel prices and unfavorable currency exchange rates. Fuel costs were partially offset by higher fares, Norwegian said.
However, a renegotiated deal with Boeing for 50 737 MAX 8 jets will put the carrier on a firmer footing, chief executive Geir Karlsen said.
The new order, which Norwegian said included “attractive pricing and inflation protection”, will see the carrier take delivery of 50 aircraft between 2025-2028 with options for a further 30 aircraft that could be delivered from 2028-2030.
“The aircraft deal with Boeing is key for Norwegian’s next chapter,” said Karlsen. “It will enable us to serve our customers with modern fuel-efficient aircraft, significantly reducing our carbon footprint. In addition, it sets the stage for us to own a large share of our fleet, enabling us to solidify our Nordic stronghold.”
Like other carriers in Europe, Norwegian was hit by capacity constraints, affecting its on-time performance in the period. However, regularity, the share of flights taking place, stood at 99.4% and Norwegian also saw passenger numbers more than double in comparison with the first quarter.
“This quarter has demonstrated our ability to rapidly ramp up capacity and effectively meet the strong demand for air travel,” said Karlsen. “I am particularly pleased that we deliver market-leading regularity in times with capacity constraints across European airports and a technician strike in Norway.”