Low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle has reported 3rd quarter profits of 1.3bn NOK (£121m GBP), an 18% increase on the same period last year.
As the company has been able to reduce its operating unit cost by 10% it was able to post Earnings Before Tax (EBT) result was a healthy 1.6bn NOK (£149m GBP).
Around 11 million passengers chose to use the Norwegian airline which also operates its UK subsidiary, Norwegian Air UK at London Gatwick Airport. This is up 11% and gave the airline a load factor of 90.5% over the period.
In 2017 the airline was criticised for its aggressive growth strategy but following significant investments it was able to establish new bases internationally as well as investing in new aircraft, the recruitment of several thousand employees including pilots and cabin crew also helped it launch many new routes and increase of frequencies on well-established routes.
Bjorn Kjos, CEO of Norwegian said: “I am very pleased to present a solid result this quarter with a reduced unit cost despite strong growth. Going forward the growth will slow down, and we will begin to reap the large investments we have made over the years, which will benefit customers, employees and shareholders. However, there is no doubt that tough competition, high oil prices and a strong dollar will affect the entire aviation industry, making it even more important to further streamline our operations and continue to reduce costs”
Norwegian has one of the youngest and most modern aircraft fleets with an average age of just 3.7 years. This investment has enabled the company to reduced its emissions per passenger by 30 per cent since 2008. This is being further helped by new technology the airline is taking on board to cut fuel consumption.
It was also named the most environmentally friendly airline on transatlantic routes by The International Council of Clean Transportation, an international and independent environmental institute.
During Q3 the airline took delivery of one brand-new Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner and four Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft and by the end of 2018 it would have taken delivery of 11 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, 12 Boeing 737 MAX 8 and the two Boeing 737- 800 aircraft this year alone.
The rise in profits will come as a welcome sign in a period when rivals Primera Air collapsed trying to target the same markets using a similar strategy.