Europe’s third largest low-cost airline Norwegian has reported its highest ever passenger figures in a single year - with nearly 26 million passengers in 2015 and a load factor of 86 per cent.
The airline’s busiest ever year in the UK and increased long-haul operations both contributed considerably to the growth, with increased passenger numbers, more new aircraft and high load factors characterising 2015.
Norwegian carried 25.7 million passengers in 2015 - two million more than the previous year.
The company took delivery of 11 new aircraft and launched several new routes, particularly long-haul services.
The 2015 load factor was 86 per cent, up from 81 per cent in 2014.
In the monthly figures for December 2015, Norwegian carried almost 1.7 million passengers, up nine per cent from the same month last year.
The capacity growth in December was 12 per cent and the traffic growth was 15 per cent.
The load factor was 83.3 per cent, an increase of two percentage points.
Norwegian chief executive Bjørn Kjos said: “We are pleased that more and more people have chosen to fly with us, especially in the new destinations where we have introduced our service.
“Even with the launch of a number of new routes, we have still been able to fill our planes better than before.
“Our long-haul operation has stabilised and contributed significantly to the 2015 figures.
“It bodes well going forward, as it increases our global competitiveness and positions us for further growth at London Gatwick.
“UK activity in particular has helped fuel a strong 2015 for Norwegian and we have seen our busiest ever year in the UK.
“With a new ‘Norwegian UK’ subsidiary now being established and further new long-haul routes planned, the UK market will continue to be central to our growth plans for 2016.
“In December, many Scandinavians and Europeans have chosen to travel, either home for Christmas or to their favourite vacation getaway.
“Our new routes from London and Scandinavia to the Caribbean have been very well received.
“Our new routes from Boston, New York and Baltimore / Washington to the French Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe have also been well received.”