On the rise: Norwegian carried over 1.3 million passengers in December 2023 

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Oslo-based low-cost airline Norwegian has reported that it carried over 1.3 million passengers in December 2023. Furthermore, the carrier recorded a surge in its network load factor, rising to 83.6%, an increase of six percentage points over the same period in 2022. Throughout 2023, Norwegian carried over 20 million passengers, representing a 16% increase from the previous year. 

“With 1.3 million passengers in December, a total of more than 20 million passengers chose to travel with us in 2023,” said Geir Karlsen, CEO of Norwegian. “Our load factor has increased significantly since December 2022, and I am happy to see these solid results. It is also encouraging to see that the positive booking trend we saw through 2023 seems to continue into 2024. Our customers are now planning and booking their next travel adventure with many taking advantage of our New Year’s sale that was launched recently.”  

Norwegian carried 1,308,441 passengers in December 2023, close to the same number seen in December 2022. The airline’s total capacity (measured in Available Seat Kilometers or ASKs) was 2,013 million seat kilometers, down 5% from the same period last year. Actual passenger traffic (RPK) was 1,684 million seat kilometers.  

In December 2023, Norwegian operated a fleet of 58 aircraft made up of 52 Boeing 737-800s and six Boeing 737 MAX 8s with a further six to be delivered from an existing order.  

The airlines’ completion rate (meaning the share of scheduled flights taking place and arriving at the scheduled destination was 99.5%. However, punctuality was affected by the winter storm Pia and the share of flights departing within 15 minutes of scheduled time fell to 70.4%. That said, the airline states that 93% of all departed flights arrived on schedule or within one hour of the scheduled arrival time. 

“Winter storm Pia challenged our operations a few days before Christmas, but thanks to the relentless effort and meticulous planning by colleagues across the business, we managed to add several extra flights and get passengers home in time for their Christmas celebrations,” said Karlsen. 

For 2023 as a whole, Norwegian carried 20.6 million passengers, an increase of 16% over 2022. Total capacity increased by 18% while the load factor increased by two percentage points to 84.7%. 

Looking ahead  

Norwegian is planning its future around the 737 MAX 8. The airline ordered 50 of the type in 2022, with the first of these twinjets expected to arrive in the fleet between 2025 and 2028. Their introduction will coincide with the scheduled lease expiration dates of older Boeing 737-800s currently operated by Norwegian. 

Additionally, in December 2023, the Norwegian Competition Authority (NCA) approved Norwegian’s acquisition of regional carrier Widerøe, with the transaction due to be implemented in January 2024. The two companies’ networks are well-complemented and will offer Norwegian customers a better choice of routes and the opportunity for more streamlined travel within Norway and abroad. 

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Widerøe’s current fleet consists of just two types, the De Havilland Dash 8 (of which it has 45) and three 110-seat Embraer E190-E2 jets used for longer routes such as Bergen (BGO) to London-Stansted (STN).  

In December 2023, Norwegian launched new routes from several cities in Norway to Rhodes (RHO), Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Edinburgh (EDI) and Istanbul (SAW). The carrier’s flight schedule for summer 2024 will offer more than 330 routes to more than 120 destinations with a fleet of around 70 aircraft. 

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