Summer 2023 ‘one of the best’ says Norwegian CEO

Norwegian, despite experiencing one of the best summers, still ended H1 2023 with a net loss
Vilius Veitas /

Norwegian, the Norway-based low-cost carrier, said it is experiencing “one of the best” summer seasons in 2023.

“The summer season of 2023 will be one of the best in our history, and I am happy that forward bookings remain strong with business travel returning and others planning their autumn holidays,” Norwegian’s chief executive officer (CEO), Geir Karlsen, said during the airline’s Q2 2023 results announcement on August 24, 2023.

Norwegian ended Q2 2023 with a revenue of NOK6.8 billion ($638.8 million) and a net profit of NOK537.9 million ($50.4 million). Its operating profit, namely Earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT), was NOK651 million ($61.1 million).

However, its H1 2023 net result was a loss of NOK455 million ($42.7 million), with the airline swinging into the negative compared to H1 2022, when the low-cost carrier ended the period with a net profit of NOK214.7 million ($20.1 million).

“This quarter has demonstrated our ability to ramp up capacity and deliver a superb operational performance to become one of the top airlines in Europe,” Karlsen continued. “Our seamless customer experience has made us one of the most loved airlines in the Nordics.”

By the end of Q2 2023, Norwegian operated 81 Boeing 737 aircraft, including 16 Boeing 737 MAXs.

The downswing in H1 profitability came despite the airline carrying 31% more passengers in H1 2023 (9.4 million). Operating costs, excluding leases, depreciation, and amortization, were significantly higher in H1 2023 at NOK1.9 billion ($178.5 million), compared to H1 2022 expenses, excluding those items, of NOK1.4 billion ($131.5 million).

“In light of the inflationary impact on both supplier costs and salaries, and the weakening of NOK against USD and EUR, the company does not expect to reach its target of a reduction in unit cost excluding fuel compared to the previous year,” Norwegian said in its outlook for the full year.

While bookings remain “strong”, visibility for Q4 remains “limited”, the low-cost carrier said, adding that it was “mindful of demand uncertainties following potential weaknesses in consumer confidence”.

Regarding its acquisition of Norwegian regional airline Widerøe, Norwegian expects the transaction to close by the end of the year, with the purchase “subject to approval by the Norwegian Competition Authority”.

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