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A Sustainable Business Model

Bjørn Kjos

Public interest proves that we are doing something right

-Bjørn Kjos, founder and CEO of Norwegian

Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery. And while our competitors have not always said flattering things about the challenge from Norwegian, they are certainly paying us a lot of attention today.

We think this is because our airline can do things others cannot. The fact that we have the youngest fleet of aircraft in Europe is another way of saying we also have the greenest, quietest and most efficient fleet of aircraft in Europe. It means we can offer more affordable fares, award-winning service and do less harm to the environment.

Reaching out from our deep roots in the Nordic region, we’ve over the past 16 years built a flourishing short-haul network in one of the most competitive and discerning markets in the world. We have been a disruptive force on the side of consumers from the day we started with affordable fares for all as our main goal.

What has also singled Norwegian out for attention from our rivals is our ability to make this model work across longer distances. More established carriers have sought to cling on to their legacy pricing models when they fly long haul. They approach the oceans as a source of protection from competition at home. We have embraced the changes in the industry across all our routes and five years after our first transatlantic flight between Oslo and New York, we have given millions of travellers on both side the Atlantic the opportunity to see another continent at an affordable price. Whether you are flying to Boston or Bergen you can expect the same keen pricing and modern service. Thanks to our innovative service, professional and service-minded staff from Bangkok in the east to Los Angeles in the west, our customers have named us Europe’s best low-cost airline and the world’s best low-cost long-haul airline several years in a row.

Our competitors have begun to notice what our customers have known for a while: we do things differently. While this might appear unnerving to staff and customers alike, we should take it as a compliment. Change is not something the industry, or we, should be afraid of. What we must guard against is consolidation that disguises protectionist instincts or does not truly value what we do. Norwegian has been making considerable investments over the past years, and as our growth now begins to slow down, we will start harvesting what we have sown. We are in a good financial position to take the long-term view; to make the right decision in the interests of our customers, employees and shareholders. Just recently we successfully raised 1.2 billion NOK through the sale of new shares on the stock market, which will help us confidently look to the future.

We continue to expand, with new flights from Tampa to London only the latest in a series of additional routes. During the first six months of 2018, we have carried 17.5 million passengers, 2.2 million more than the same time last year. We will add 25 new aircraft in 2018 alone and the average age of our fleet of ultra-modern jets is just 3.7 years. I know from my time as a fighter pilot in the Royal Norwegian Air Force that you need to know where you are going, not just how fast you are getting there. The future we have planned is exciting and sustainable, and one that will continue to benefit both our existing and new passengers above all else.

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