Airline Norwegian gets post-Covid boost to profits and passenger numbers

Low-cost airline Norwegian, which operates several services out of Denmark and Sweden as well as Norway, says it can feel the effects on its bottom line of the end of Covid-19 travel restrictions.

Airline Norwegian gets post-Covid boost to profits and passenger numbers
A Norwegian aircraft prepares to land at Barcelona Airport. The company's passenger numbers are up after previous Covid-19-related struggles. File photo: JOSEP LAGO / AFP

The second quarter of 2022 saw Norwegian register profits totalling 1.2 billion Norwegian kroner. Just under five million passengers flew with the company, according to results published by Norwegian on Thursday.

In comparison, just 380,000 passengers flew with Norwegian during the corresponding quarter in 2021, when Covid-19 restrictions were still having major effects on the aviation sector.

The company suffered severely in 2020 as Covid-19 restrictions compounded existing economic difficulties.

It should be noted that the registered profit is due to a return of 2.1 billion kroner received by Norwegian in relation to advanced payments on aircraft purchases. Without this, the company would have registered a loss.

“The quarter shows we are good at adapting and that we can quickly adjust operations to an increasing demand,” Norwegian CEO Geir Karlsen said in a comment on the results.

“I am particularly pleased that we are among the very best on regularity in a period with capacity limitations in many airports and with a strike by flight mechanics in Norway,” he said.

Norwegian was able to operate almost all of its scheduled flights – 99.4 percent – in the second quarter.

The return of passengers has also seen the company fill more of its services to capacity. Average capacity on the airline’s flights in the second quarter was 81.2 percent.

The results also note an agreement with Boeing to purchase 50 aircraft, which will be supplied in the period 2025-28.

“The agreement with Boeing is important when we write the next chapter for Norwegian. The agreement makes it possible for us to own a large part of our own fleet, which strengthens our position in the Nordic region,” Karlsen said.

READ ALSO: Norwegian Air to seek bankruptcy protection in Norway

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Denmark talks up flight tax to make air travel greener 

The Danish government hopes to introduce a 13 kroner tax on flight tickets to finance zero-emissions domestic flights.

Denmark talks up flight tax to make air travel greener 

The proposed tax, which would be introduced from 2025, would generate 200-230 million kroner annually, giving a total of 1.9 billion kroner over a nine-year period.

The revenue would be put towards prime minister Mette Frederiksen’s goal of all-green domestic flights in Denmark by 2030. 

“Air travel is – you have to be honest, when looking at climate change – a sector that pollutes too much,” climate and energy minister Dan Jørgensen said at a briefing held at Copenhagen Airport.

“But it is also a sector that is needed. Aircraft open the world for us,” he said.

Denmark plans to open its first green domestic flight in 2025, with all domestic flights becoming zero-emissions by 2030.

The Nordic country is, however, lagging behind neighbours Norway, Sweden, and Germany, who have already imposed green aviation taxes at a higher level than that proposed by the government. Other European countries have taken similar steps.

The proposal defines green flights as being 100 percent fuelled by sustainable energy sources and without fossil fuels.

Green domestic flights in Denmark would have a limited impact on the country’s carbon footprint.

While international flights comprise around 2-3 percent of Denmark’s overall CO2 emissions, domestic flights only make up a few percent of Denmark’s emissions from aviation.

The 13-krone tax, which could be adjusted in 2024 and 2029 in accordance with price changes, will be spent on green conversion, tax minister Jeppe Bruus said at the briefing.

“This is not a case of this tax helping put more money in state coffers but a contribution towards converting to green energy which we need on our air transport,” he said.

READ ALSO: Scandinavian airline SAS plans to launch electric planes in 2028