Norwegian delivers strong operating profit for Q3

A Norwegian Boeing 737 lined up on the runway.
Photo Credit: Adrian Olstad/AviationSource

With a profit before tax (EBT) of NOK 2,050 million, Norwegian has achieved its second-best quarterly result in its 21-year history.

Overall, Norwegian has enjoyed a very strong summer, both operationally and financially, and also delivered best-in-class on punctuality and regularity in Europe.

Profit and Margin

Norwegian reported an operating profit (EBIT) of NOK 2,170 million for the third quarter of 2023, with an EBIT margin of 25 percent.

This marks the highest operating profit in the company’s history since the third quarter of 2019 when the fleet was almost twice its current size.

Profit before tax (EBT) reached NOK 2,050 million, showcasing the company’s financial strength and stability.

A Norwegian airlines Boeing landing.
Nathan Coats from Seattle, WA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons


Financial Stability and Fleet

One of the key indicators of an airline’s health is its liquidity position, and Norwegian’s increased to NOK 9.4 billion.

In addition to this, the company repaid the NAS13 bond as part of its ongoing efforts to maintain a strong and fit-for-purpose capital structure.

At the end of the quarter, Norwegian’s fleet consisted of 85 aircraft, indicating a well-maintained and efficient operation.

Passenger Growth and Capacity Expansion

Norwegian’s success is not only reflected in its financial numbers but also in its growing passenger base. The airline served 6.5 million passengers in the third quarter of 2023, a significant increase from the 6.1 million passengers in the same period in 2022.

This substantial growth was supported by a production (Available Seat Kilometres or ASK) of 10.4 billion seat kilometres, while passenger traffic (Revenue Passenger Kilometres or RPK) reached 9.1 billion seat kilometres.

Notably, production saw a 20 percent increase from the previous quarter, aligning with the high-demand summer travel season. The quarterly load factor stood at 87.4 percent, demonstrating strong passenger demand.

An aircraft parked at Stockholm Arlanda Airport Terminal 5.
AleWi, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Leading in Punctuality and Regularity

Norwegian’s commitment to excellence is further exemplified in its punctuality and regularity records.

Punctuality, which measures the share of flights departing on schedule, reached an impressive 80.1 percent in the quarter, up from 73.6 percent in the same period the previous year.

According to data from Cirium, a global aviation consultancy, Norwegian is ranked as one of the top three most punctual airlines in Europe.

Regularity, indicating the share of flights taking place, achieved a remarkable 99.6 percent, marking the highest regularity in close to two years. This exceptional performance is a testament to the dedication and hard work of the entire Norwegian team.

Norwegian CEO Statement

Geir Karlsen, the CEO of Norwegian, expressed his satisfaction with the company’s performance, saying, “Thanks to the outstanding effort of the entire Norwegian team, we can look back at one of the best quarters in our 21-year history. I am very satisfied that our financial results are strong.”

“We have also delivered an operational performance as one of the absolute top airlines in Europe with a remarkably low number of cancellations and strong on-time performance.”

“Positive feedback from customers shows that Norwegian is the airline they can trust, which is something everyone at Norwegian has worked towards.”

Karlsen also emphasized the airline’s preparedness for the quieter winter trading period with reduced capacity and other strategic actions.

Future Outlook

Norwegian’s success is not just limited to the past quarter but extends to its future plans. The anticipated acquisition of Widerøe and the launch of a joint loyalty platform with strategic partners are set to enhance Norwegian’s position as a preferred travel partner throughout the Nordics.

Despite the challenges posed by high inflation and interest rates, Norwegian continues to attract a growing number of Nordic travelers for both leisure and corporate travel.

For the summer of 2024, Norwegian is gearing up to expand its fleet to approximately 90 aircraft, with additional routes to new destinations in the pipeline.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
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