Norwegian Group: 1.4 million passengers in January amid bad weather

Norwegian and Wideroe crews stand in snow with aircraft.
Photo Credit: Norwegian Group

The Norwegian Group has released its January 2024 performance data, reporting for the first time collectively on both Norwegian Air Shuttle and new subsidiary acquisition Widerøe.

Overall the airline group has put in a good showing, despite severe bad weather conditions.

In January, Norwegian Air Shuttle had 1,138,621 passengers, while Widerøe had 246,326 passengers. This means that the Norwegian Group had 1,384,947 passengers in total.

Norwegian increased its load factor to 83.1 percent in January, up 5 percentage points compared to the same period last year.

Norwegian Performance

“For the first time, our traffic figures include those of Widerøe, and in total, Norwegian and Widerøe had 1.4 million passengers on board in the first month of the year,” said Geir Karlsen, CEO of Norwegian.

“For Norwegian, it is very positive that the load factor increased by five percentage points compared to January last year.”

“Demand to beach destinations continues to perform in the high-end of our expectations with many of our customers opting for some warmer Mediterranean weather.”

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Norwegian had 1,138,621 passengers in January. The capacity (ASK) was 1,820 million seat kilometres, down 3 percent from the same period last year. Actual passenger traffic (RPK) was 1,512 million seat kilometres.

 In January, Norwegian operated an average of 63 aircraft with a regularity, meaning the share of scheduled flights taking place, of 99.0 percent. Punctuality was affected by the severe winter weather and the share of flights departing within 15 minutes of scheduled time was 76.7 percent.

“Our operations during the winter season are affected by seasonal weather and particular winter storms. I would like to give thanks to the tireless effort of our colleagues, who have ensured that our disruptions are kept to a minimum, to the benefit of our many customers,” said Geir Karlsen, CEO of Norwegian.

For 2024, Norwegian have hedged jet fuel corresponding to approximately 50 percent of projected consumption at levels close to current forward prices.

Photo Credit: Wideroe

Widerøe Acquisition

In December, the Norwegian Competition Authority approved Norwegian’s acquisition of Widerøe, and the transaction was completed 12 January.

Work has already begun to ensure that organisations deliver on shared goals with the aim of delivering better overall customer offerings with seamless travel and increased travel options.

One example involves the changing of Norwegian’s ground handling provider to Widerøe Ground Handling, which took effect from 1 February at many airports across Norway.

Widerøe increased its production in January with 4 percent compared with the same period last year, while the number of passengers increased with 8 percent. The load factor was up 3 percentage points.

The Widerøe result in January was characterized by a very challenging weather month with many cancellations and delays.

Weather cancellations resulted in lost revenue for the carrier and incurred a lot of extra costs with customer accommodation, alternative transportation and rebooking of customers to other airlines. Overall, poor weather conditions also negatively affected passenger numbers in January.

Widerøe remains confident with the market going forward. The New Year’s sale set new records at Widerøe and the demand for air travel has remained positive. The airline noted that the booking pattern is changing.

During the pandemic and immediately afterwards customers preferred to book tickets close to departure, the airline is now back to pre-pandemic consumer behaviour, where customers have longer planning horizons and are significantly earlier in planning their trip.

“We are satisfied with the figures for January. Despite one of the worst weather months in many years, we are filling the planes better than last year.”

“We are increasing the number of seats available in the market, but the number of passengers with Widerøe is increasing twice as much,” says CEO of Widerøe Stein Nilsen.

“We have experienced that we are hitting the market in a good way. The work on tailoring the offer together with Norwegian has already started, and we are very much looking forward to being able to offer seamless journeys from Widerøe country and out into the whole world with Norwegian’s well-developed route network,” concludes Nilsen.

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Norwegian Group - Norwegian Air Shuttle and Widerøe - uplifted a combined 1.4 million passengers in January despite bad weather conditions.
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