Norwegian Air was flying high again this week, after reporting nearly a billion kroner in second-quarter pre-tax profits and announcing agreements for the delivery of 30 new A321 Long Range aircraft from Airbus. Profits in the third quarter, though, will reflect the millions Norwegian had to fork out when it failed to operate its ambitious summer flight schedule as sold.
Passengers were furious earlier this month when Norwegian had to cancel around 30 flights because it lacked pilots to fly them. That labour problem was eventually solved but not before the airline had to pay what its founder and CEO Bjørn Kjos calls “considerable extraordinary” sums to charter in aircraft and pay compensation to passengers who were stranded.
He’s been smiling again this week, though, not just because profits nearly doubled in the second quarter compared to last year but also because his airline won more awards and is being courted by AirAsia of Malaysia, which is keen on some sort of cooperation deal between the two major low-fare carriers.
“When this summer is over, the leased aircraft will be phased out and we’re looking positively at developments ahead,” Kjos said. Fully 7.7 million people flew on Norwegian flights during the second quarter, up 11 percent over last year.