Low-cost carrier Norwegian has reported strong growth in all European markets in its third quarter results, with a capacity increase of 36 per cent and a load factor of 85 per cent.
However, pre-tax profit stood at MNOK505, compared to MNOK604 the same quarter previous year.
The costs associated with wet-leasing replacement aircraft and a weak Norwegian Krone significantly affected the figures.
Even with strong passenger growth, the load factor was high and increased by three percentage points to 85 per cent in the third quarter.
Norwegian carried 7.1 million passengers this quarter and the company’s operations at London Gatwick had the strongest passenger growth.
The combination of a weak Norwegian Krone, the delayed approval from the US department of transportation and costs associated with flight delays, affected the results during the quarter.
Wet-leasing replacement aircraft and extra fuel, as well as accommodation, food and drink for delayed passengers also created extra costs.
The costs associated with the long overdue application before the US department of transportation for a foreign air carrier permit for Norwegian’s Irish subsidiary, Norwegian Air International were also considerable.
The application is in full accordance with the Open Skies Agreement between the EU and the US, Norwegian explained in a statement.
“We’re very satisfied that throughout our world-wide route network, an increasing number of new passengers choose Norwegian.
“However, we have also experienced some turbulence this quarter.
“Our results are affected by additional costs related to the pending US permit for our subsidiary in Dublin, consequently reducing our ability to optimise our fleet of aircraft.
“Even though technical difficulties with our Boeing 787 Dreamliners have also caused additional costs, our long-haul operation now consists of more aircraft and improved reliability.
“Looking into 2015, we will see a year of consolidation and lower growth.
“Next year, our fleet of short-haul aircraft will consist exclusively of Boeing 737-800s as older Boeing 737-300s will be phased out,” said Norwegian chief executive Bjørn Kjos.