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Norwegian reports net loss in 2017

Norwegian has reported a net loss in 2017 of -299 million NOK (-£27.4 million) and earnings before interest, taxes and depreciations (EBITDA) was 60 million NOK (£5.5 million), with CEO Bjorn Kjos saying: “we are not at all satisfied with the 2017 results.”

The company’s total revenue in 2017 was almost 31 billion NOK (£2.8 billion) – an increase of 19% compared to 2016.

Norwegian suggested that significant costs related to increased fuel prices, wet lease and passenger care affected the results.

The airline saw a total of 32 new aircraft enter the fleet in 2017, contributing to a production growth (ASK) of 25%. Load factor remained unchanged at 88%, while a total of more than 33 million passengers chose to travel with Norwegian in 2017, an increase of 13% compared to the previous year.

In a statement, the airline said: “Going into 2018, Norwegian is far better positioned with stronger bookings and a better staffing situation. Major investments have also been done in 2017 to prepare for future growth.”

For the fourth quarter, the airline reported a net loss of 919 million NOK (£84.4 million). The total revenue was more than 7.8 billion NOK (£716.5 million), an increase of 30% from the same period last year, which the airline says was primarily driven by international growth as well as an increased traffic in the Nordics.

Just over 8 million passengers flew with Norwegian in the quarter, a growth of 12%. The airline also saw a load factor of 85.3%.

The airline highlighted major investments made in the fourth quarter related to training of pilots and cabin crew on both its wide-body and narrow-body fleet to prepare for the growth in 2018.

Kjos went on to say that despite being disappointed in the 2017 results: “The year was also characterized by global expansion driven by new routes, high load factors and continued fleet renewal. Through our global strategy, we contribute to local economic boost and increased employment at our destinations, as well as ensuring that more people can afford to fly – not least between the continents. In 2017, we received several major international customer awards, which would never have been possible without our dedicated colleagues at Norwegian,” said Bjørn Kjos, CEO of Norwegian.

“Norwegian is far better positioned for 2018, with stronger bookings, a growing network of intercontinental routes complementing our vast European network and not least, a better staffing situation. Our major global expansion reaches its peak in the second half of 2018, when 32 of our 42 Dreamliners on order will have been put into service,” Kjos continued.

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