Norwegian has reported its full year and fourth quarter 2019 results. Maturing routes and the optimisation of the airline’s global route network has seen unit revenue increase, year on year, in nine consecutive months.
Punctuality also improved considerably during the past six quarters, up 3.1 per cent to 82.6 per cent in 4Q19.
However, problems with the global grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX and continuing issues with Rolls-Royce Trent engines on the Boeing 787 meant that the airline was forced to wet lease additional aircraft to avoid cancellations and delays throughout the network.
The result was a net loss of NOK1,609 million in 2019, while the underlying operating result before ownership costs doubled to NOK6.5 billion.
In 2019, Norwegian secured significant financial milestones that further strengthened the airline’s move to profitability. The internal cost-reduction program, #Focus2019, delivered on target with cost reductions of NOK2.3 billion for the full year and NOK444 million in the fourth quarter.
In addition, the company has postponed aircraft deliveries, sold aircraft, sold its shares in Norwegian Finance Holding and sold its domestic operation in Argentina as well as raised new capital to strengthen the liquidity.
The company’s total revenue in 2019 was NOK43.5 billion, an increase of 8 per cent compared to 2018, driven by improved unit revenue and increased ancillary revenue per passenger.
Norwegian’s shift in strategic focus from growth to profitability resulted in a production growth (ASK) of one per cent while unit revenue increased 7 per cent. The load factor was 86.6 per cent and more than 36 million customers travelled with Norwegian.