Cheap long-haul flights prove a hit for Norwegian Air as it makes a surprise profit after keeping a lid on spending
Budget airline Norwegian Air swung to a profit as it managed to keep a lid on spending while also boosting demand for cheap long-haul flights.
The fast-growing carrier beat expectations to post a £28million (30m Norwegian kroner) profit in the three months to June, compared with a £64.5million loss a year earlier.
It had been forecast to make a £50million loss.
Norwegian Air beat expectations to post a £28m (30m Norwegian kroner) profit in the three months to June, compared with a £64.5m loss a year earlier
Norwegian has been hugely popular with flights from London to New York for as little as £270 and from London to Buenos Aires from £260.
It was founded in 1993 by former fighter pilot and spy novelist Bjorn Kjos, who is also the firm’s chief executive.
Demand for low-cost transatlantic flights has attracted the interest of British Airways owner IAG, which has made two informal takeover attempts.
Norwegian’s heavy spending has also made it more vulnerable to a takeover bid, weighing on its profitability.
The airline is lowering its capital expenditure this year to £1.32billion, down from the £1.44billion previously planned. But Kjos and chairman Bjoern Kise said it was ‘too early’ to sell.
The pair are Norwegian’s biggest shareholders through HBK Invest Holding which owns around a quarter of the company. ‘If we consider selling, I think it is too early for shareholders,’ Kjos said.
‘We haven’t even fulfilled our expansion this year. We should go into harvesting mode, so shareholders see what comes out of it.’