Norwegian carried the same number of passengers during the 2022 holiday period as it did in 2019, the Norway-based low-cost carrier has indicated, pointing to the continuous recovery in travel demand.
The airline carried 1.3 million passengers in December 2022, a 41% increase compared to the same month the year before. Overall, Norwegian finished 2022 with 18 million passengers, which is three times more than in 2021.
“We are delighted to see that an increasing number of Nordic passengers choose Norwegian as their preferred airline when travelling to see friends and family during the busy holiday season that this month brings,” stated Geir Karlsen, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Norwegian, adding that domestic travel within the country is now “on-par with pre-pandemic levels”.
While Norwegian had a lower average load factor (77.8%) compared to the rest of the year’s average (83.1%), the company’s financial situation has remained robust. As such, it was able to hedge its fuel prices for 2023 and 2024. According to a press release from the airline, published on January 5, 20223, its current hedges for 2023 are “struck at levels below today’s spot price”. At the same time, the low-cost carried completed 99% of its flights in December 2022, yet punctuality (defined as departing no later than 15 minutes from the scheduled time) was at 71.6% during the month due to “challenging weather conditions at several European airports”.
“All in all, 2022 has been a very good year for Norwegian. A strong pent-up demand for air travel, particularly for beach destinations during the peak leisure season, resulting in a record busy summer,” Karlsen continued, mentioning that the airline continues seeing positive booking trends, with ticket sales exceeding expectations. “Our customers have responded very positively to our New Year’s sale and are taking advantage of the campaign to plan this year’s travels, both short and long term,” Norwegian’s CEO concluded.
The company’s latest financial results for Q3 2022, published in October 2022, showed Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) of NOK1 billion ($99.4 million) and the company improved its cash position to NOK8.2 billion ($815 million).