Norwegian cuts costs but 1st quarter loss worsens

Norwegian’s financial results for the first quarter, showing a unit cost (excluding fuel) of NOK 0.40, represents a large cost reduction compared to the same period last year, the carrier says.

More than 2.7 million passengers travelled with Norwegian in the first quarter of 2010, an increase of 28% compared to the same period last year. The turnover was NOK 1.6 billion ($269.4m), an increase of 15%, but the net result after tax was a loss of NOK 199 million ($33.5m), which was 81% worse than 1Q09.

“In light of the strong passenger and production growth I’m satisfied with the result,” said Norwegian CEO Bjorn Kjos. “I’m especially pleased that we have reduced our costs, thus strengthening our competitive position. We expected to report a loss during the first quarter but I’m happy that we delivered a better set of numbers than the market expected.”

During the first quarter, Norwegian received six new Boeing 737-800s to take the current fleet to 52 aircraft. “New aircraft mean an improved travel experience for the passengers, and fewer delays due to technical maintenance. New aircraft also make us even more cost efficient. This is a fleet for the future,” Kjos added.

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