Norwegian Maintains Momentum With Strong March Traffic

Norwegian Group flight crew in the airport terminal.
Photo Credit: Norwegian Group

The Norwegian Group continues its positive momentum with strong traffic figures in March. The group, including Widerøe, welcomed a total of 1,820,702 passengers. Of this total number, Norwegian itself transported 1,544,289 travellers.

This is a positive sign for the group, especially considering the early Easter holiday that impacted April bookings.

The group has over 8,200 employees and owns two of the prominent airlines in the Nordics: Norwegian Air Shuttle and Widerøe’s Flyveselskap. 

Norwegian Air Shuttle, the largest Norwegian airline with around 4,700 employees, operates an extensive route network connecting Nordic countries to key European destinations.

In 2023, Norwegian carried over 20 million passengers and maintained a fleet of 87 Boeing 737-800 and 737 MAX 8 aircraft.

A ground staff member with a Norwegian jet.
Photo Credit: Norwegian

Increased Load Factor and On-Time Performance

The load factor for Norwegian flights rose significantly to 85 percent, a 4-percentage point improvement compared to March 2023.

This is demonstrative of a successful strategy and continued customer trust in the carrier. Additionally, on-time performance improved, solidifying Norwegian’s commitment to reliable travel experiences.

“We’re thrilled with another month of strong traffic figures,” said Geir Karlsen, CEO of Norwegian. “The early Easter holiday provided a boost, and our high regularity of 99.6 percent in March showcases the dedication of our team to ensuring customer satisfaction,” he said.

“Notably, we achieved zero cancellations for international flights during this crucial travel period.”

Looking ahead, Norwegian is optimistic about the upcoming summer season based on promising booking trends. However, they acknowledge a potential dip in April due to the Easter holiday shift.

A Norwegian airline Boeing lines up for takeoff.
Photo Credit: Adrian Olstad / AviationSource

Capacity Growth amid Reduced Emissions

Norwegian’s capacity (ASK) increased by 4 percent year-over-year, reaching 2,441 million seat kilometers in March. Actual passenger traffic (RPK) was 2,075 million seat kilometers. The airline operated an average of 73 aircraft throughout the month.

Pleasingly, Norwegian also achieved a 10 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per passenger kilometer compared to March 2023. This translates to an emissions reduction equivalent to roughly 250,000 passenger round trips between Oslo and Bergen.

“We’re encouraged by the progress in reducing our carbon footprint,” said Karlsen. “This is a combined effort driven by our newer fleet, improved planning leading to a higher load factor, and the use of advanced digital tools to optimize flight patterns.”

“We remain committed to our ambitious target of a 45 percent emissions reduction by 2030. Fleet renewal, operational efficiency, and sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) will be key to achieving this goal.”

A Wideroe Dash 8 aircraft on the taxiway.
Photo Credit: Adrian Olstad/AviationSource

Widerøe Performance

Widerøe, part of the Norwegian group, also reported positive results with 276,413 passengers in March. Their load factor rose significantly to 70 percent, a 6-percentage point increase.

Additionally, Widerøe saw improvements in both regularity and punctuality, achieving an impressive on-time performance of 89 percent.

Widerøe’s Flyveselskap, Norway’s oldest airline, is Scandinavia’s largest regional carrier. Mainly operating the short-runway airports in rural Norway, Widerøe operates several state contract routes (PSO routes) in addition to its own commercial network.

In 2023, the airline had 3.3 million passengers and a fleet of 48 aircraft, including 45 Bombardier Dash 8’s and three Embraer E190-E2’s. Widerøe Ground Handling provides ground handling services at 41 Norwegian airports.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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