Published on February 27th, 2021 | by Alan Dwyer0
Norwegian Post Losses of USD$1.5 billion in the Final Quarter of 2020
Norwegian Airlines have posted their results for the final quarter of 2020 showing losses of NOK 12.8 billion (USD$1.5 billion). The operating expenses before leasing and depreciation were reduced by 82% compared to the same quarter in 2019. The examinership process in Ireland and the reconstruction process in Norway that were initiated in the fourth quarter is on track. the airline has said that it expects to exit the examinership process during the second quarter of 2021.
The pandemic continues to have a negative impact on the aviation industry. Demand was severely affected by changing travel restrictions and the continued spread of COVID-19 across Norwegian’s key markets. Out of a current fleet of 131 aircraft, an average of just 15 aircraft were operational during the fourth quarter, mainly on domestic routes in Norway. Norwegian carried just 574,000 customers, a decrease of 92% compared to the same period in 2019. The load factor was 52.4%, a decrease of 32.5 percentage points compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.
Speaking on the publication of the results, Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian, said, “2020 was an exceptionally difficult year for the aviation industry and for Norwegian. Consequently, the fourth quarter results are as expected. Unfortunately, many of our employees are furloughed or have lost their jobs, partly due to the company’s decision to cease long-haul operations. Despite the difficulties the pandemic has caused, there is a great fighting spirit and engagement within the company, and together we will build new Norwegian when we exit the reconstruction processes. Now, we are doing everything we can to emerge as a more financially secure and competitive airline with an improved customer offering, and as soon as Europe begins to reopen, we will be ready to welcome more customers on board.”
Norwegian plans to serve both Norwegian domestic and European routes with approximately 50 narrow body aircraft in 2021. However, the ramp-up is dependent on the development of the pandemic, travel restrictions and government advice in key markets. Norwegian operated 90.1% of its scheduled flights in the fourth quarter, whereof 94.1% departed on time.