Norwegian slips to loss as expansion continues

Norwegian slips to loss as expansion continues

Scandinavian budget carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle has reported a loss in the fourth quarter and sharply lower profits for 2013.

The declines were the result of heavy investments in new long-haul aircraft, the airline said in a statement to markets.

Other expenses linked to its rapid and controversial expansion into south-east Asia and the United States also took a toll on results.

Norwegian saw a net loss of 196.8 million Norwegian kroner, or £20 million, in the three months that ended December 31st, from a net profit of 23.6 million kroner the same period last year.

For the full year, net profit fell to nearly 319 million kroner, from 457 million in 2012.

Turnover at the airline was 15.6 billion kroner, or £1.53 billion, an increase of 21 per cent on the previous year.

Dreamliner

Norwegian also revealed it has signed an agreement to acquire four new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

This means the company has ordered 14 wide-body aircraft in total; three of which are already in service.

The 787-9 is larger than the 787-8 that Norwegian currently operates on its long-haul routes.

Norwegian continues to expand its international operations by entering into an agreement with International Lease Finance Corporation to lease four Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners.

The new Dreamliners are expected to enter service in 2017 and 2018.

Norwegian currently has three 787-8 Dreamliners in its fleet, with an additional five on order.

The company also has two 787-9 Dreamliners on order for delivery in the first quarter of 2016.

In total, Norwegian has ordered a fleet of 14 long-haul aircraft, where of four will enter service in 2014; one in 2014; two in 2016; two in 2017 and two in 2018.

“In order to run a competitive long-haul operation, we are dependent on brand new, cost-efficient aircraft.

“I’m very satisfied to have secured an additional four 787-9 Dreamliners.

“This is a great airplane with high passenger comfort, long range and low fuel burn,” said Norwegian chief executive Bjørn Kjos.