Norwegian airlines are making some drastic changes
2019 saw Norwegian airlines make some drastic changes. During the first half of the year, the airline made an effort to optimise its operations. The company got rid of its ineffective CEO and made some changes to its route offerings. Most importantly, Norwegian started trying to create a sustainable airline before it goes belly up.
Norwegian has announced that its new CEO Jacob Schram will start leading the company from 1 January 2020.
However, Jacob seems an odd choice as he has no experience working in the airline business. Nevertheless, He’s been running Circle K’s European operations for over a decade so he does have some big business experience.
Some smart moves are being made at Norwegian when it comes to flight routes even before the new leadership takes over.
During this winter, Norwegian set out to scrap all long-haul flights from Copenhagen to Stockholm as all of those flights were suspended for the winter period and won’t come back next year. The only exception is for Ft Lauderdale to Stockholm, which is set to end on 27 March 2019.
Nevertheless, Oslo will still have long-haul flights. However, scrapping Swedish and Danish routes will do two things: Give the airline more breathing space so that persisting 787 engine issues will not force it to go into costly wet-leasing deals to operate its schedule and allow Norwegian to remove the most unprofitable routes and focus on routes that make the most money.
Norwegian is also shifting away from low-revenue to high-revenue airports. As a result, in the US, it shifted several flights from Oakland to San Francisco. The Ft Lauderdale to London flight was moved to Miami. Furthermore, the airline left Newark in favour of moving everything to JFK International and suspended all 737 flights from the American East Coast to Europe, including eliminating flights to Stewart/Newburgh, Hartford, and Providence.
Lastly, flights from the US to Paris/Orly will be no more as all of them will go to Charles de Gaulle instead. All things aside, however, the biggest news is that Norwegian got a foothold in London Heathrow Airport.
To summarise, Norwegian got rid of 27 routes and added 24. The result is an impressive turnover in routes between the US and Europe on Norwegian.
The airline will soon have new leadership in place and is making all the right moves. After cuts of more than 25% year-over-year, the airline saw load factor climb more than 4 points and unit revenue increase of 18% in November.