Sunday, February 18, 2018

Norwegian looks to expand longhaul despite losses

Despite recently announcing losses of over £27m in 2017, low-cost airline Norwegian continues to look to expand its longhaul offering, while at the same time cutting its short haul flights by 25%, making space at Gatwick airport for longhaul slots. The significant loss was blamed on the rising costs or fuel, aircraft leasing and customer care.

Norwegian announced it was reducing capacity from London Gatwick to Ibiza, Dubrovnik and Fuerteventura by as much as 50%, with other top holiday destinations also seeing a drop, despite Monarch's failure, indicating that fewer seats could mean higher flight prices with other airline as supply decreases.

Meanwhile, has been praised for its significant growth, together with its rave customer reviews and numerous awards for service. Still a relative new kid on the block, (the airline) turned 15 years old in February 2018 and seems to have taken over from Norwegian's innovative style in travel. They already fly a couple of long haul routes to the US from the UK. This trend in longhaul, low-cost travel seems to be continuously growing. It wasn't long ago that Norwegian also announced plans to expand its offering into South America, basing its new flight operations out of Buenos Aires, although despite plans for hundreds of services, no one is too sure at this stage whether they will be focusing on long haul or short haul, but they've seen a gap in the market and are running with it.

Despite seeing these losses, Norwegian enjoyed a 19% increase in revenue and 13% increase in passenger numbers in 2017. They also look forward to the introduction of more Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, which will allow it to continue expanding its longhaul operations from both the UK, Europe and potentially further afield. Routes from the UK to more North American and Asian cities including Shanghai, Tokyo, Detroit and Philadelphia are all on the cards for possible future destinations.

This growth is still expected despite the ongoing issue of Brexit, with easyJet highlighting that certain approvals and changes made prior to the exit date will still allow it to continue flying with relatively few issues, while Ryanair's Michael O'Leary continuing to raises concerns over the possibility that many of Ryanair's flights will end up being grounded following Brexit, due to legislation not permitted the flights between the UK and the EU.