HomeAir LineThe 'low cost' Norwegian goes from the risk of bankruptcy to offering...

The ‘low cost’ Norwegian goes from the risk of bankruptcy to offering dividends in four years

The Norwegian airline, key for tourism arriving in Spain from the Nordic countries, obtains a historic operating result

A Norwegian Air airliner refuels at Oslo airport.

One of those that was the main feeder of tourists for Spain before the Covid 19 crisis, and that has had the worst time in recent years, the Norwegian airline Norwegian, shines again with its balance sheet at the end of 2023. This Nordic reference resonated as a candidate to be integrated into a large group, as demonstrated by IAG’s interest in 2018, but it subsequently came close to bankruptcy. Once removed from the revolutionary business of cheap long-haul flights, the company focused on domestic operations in Scandinavia and connecting the Nordic countries with tourist destinations in Spain. The result, an operating profit of 2,232 million Norwegian crowns (196 million euros) last year, marking the highest record in the airline’s history.

Its liquidity rises to 9.5 billion crowns (836 million euros) and the operating margin of 9%, achieved in 2023, had never been seen in this benchmark of the European aviation sector. Such is the optimism that low cost has placed itself at the forefront of the European airline sector with its attempt to recover the distribution of dividends. The board will propose to the shareholders’ meeting the payment of 0.6 crowns (0.053 euros) per share, which must also be subject to approval by creditors. The company has indicated that, if it does not obtain the green light, it will create a reserve for subsequent distribution among participants.

Norwegian’s recovery is good news for Spanish tourism. In 2023 it was the fifteenth airline by traffic in Aena’s network, with 3.6 million travelers, which was an increase of more than 240% compared to 2022. Before the pandemic, Norwegian moved 8.3 million flights in Spain. travelers in 2019. The company revolutionized air transport with flights from different points in Europe, including the Barcelona-El Prat airport, to destinations in America under the low-cost business model.

Norwegian ensures that the reservations predict a good year for 2024, sustaining a production of 36,000 million seats and taking into account the kilometers operated, which represents an increase of 12%. The outlook speaks of an operating profit of 2,500 to 3,200 million crowns (202 to 282 million euros) for the current financial year. Gone are the fleet, personnel and financial restructuring that began four years ago.

The Norwegian expects to have 90 aircraft for the peak summer season, up from the 87 it currently operates. Another milestone is the closing, last January, of the purchase operation of the regional airline Widerøe, also Norwegian, with a fleet of 48 aircraft, most of them with turboprops.

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Source: Cincodias

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