Posted on: 06 May 2010 by Ross McSweeny
Norwegian’s has announced passenger traffic details for April which were heavily disrupted by the closure of European airspace due to volcanic ash.
The total number of passengers flown in April 2010 was 791,371 compared to 861,530 last year, an 8% decrease.
In its other traffic parameters Norwegian’s total passenger traffic in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) increased by 1%, its capacity in available seat kilometres (ASKs) increased by 13%, leading to a load factor decrease of 8 percentage points to 71%.
The unexpected closing of European airspace in April due to volcanic ash led to Norwegian cancelling around 2,000 flights.
“April has been a challenging month for Norwegian because of the authorities’ closing of European airspace, but we are satisfied with the April figures taking the severe disruption into consideration,” remarked Bjørn Kjos, chief executive officer of Norwegian. “Our passengers have suffered, and Norwegian have lost at least NOK 100 million. We have done everything in our power to safely transport our stranded passengers home, and we commenced flight operations as soon as we were given clearance by the authorities. We are pleased that traffic is now back to normal, and we are very satisfied with a 91% on-time performance, particularly given the major disruptions we have been subjected to.”
The yield is estimated at 0.51 NOK for April, down 19% compared with April 2009. The development, according to the airline, partially reflects a significantly adjusted route portfolio and the introduction of five new Boeing 737-800s with higher capacity and lower unit cost. Naturally, the yield was also negatively affected by the closure of European airspace.
Norwegian operated 79.9% of its scheduled flights in April, of which 91.1% departed on time. The underlying regularity adjusted for the disruptions due to the closure of European airspace was 96.6%.