Norwegian slips into red for financial 2017 as expansion continues apace

Norwegian slips into red for financial 2017 as expansion continues apace

The company's net result swung to a loss of 919 million Norwegian crowns from the year-ago profit of 197 million crowns, weighed down by the cost of its rapid expansion.

Significant costs related to increased fuel prices, wet lease, and passenger care affected results, the low-priced carrier said.

Norwegian also warned of the challenges for the wider airline industry "as a effect of Brexit and strong competition" after last year's troubles with Monarch, Air Berlin and Alitalia.

The airline also said its cash liquidity dropped to 4.04 billion Norwegian crowns ($520 million) from 5.57 billion crowns three months ago.

The company's total revenue was nearly 31 billion NOK (£2.8 billion) - an increase of 19 per cent compared to 2016.

During the year a total of 32 new aircraft entered Norwegian's fleet, contributing to a production growth of 25pc. It carried more than 33 million passengers throughout the year, up 13% on 2016. The losses piled up despite a jump in total revenue, a new passenger record last year and a load factor of 87.5 percent, down just slightly from 87.7 percent the year before.

Rapidly growing budget carrier Norwegian Air has today posted a bigger than expected fourth-quarter loss. Total traffic growth increased by 29 percent, and capacity growth increased by 30 percent. The load factor was 85.3 percent.

Growth was primarily driven by global expansion; with intercontinental routes constituting the highest share with 55 percent. Through our global strategy, we contribute to local economic boost and increased employment at our destinations, as well as ensuring that more people can afford to fly - not least between the continents.

"We are not at all satisfied with 2017 results", the airline's founder and chief executie Bjørn Kjos declared in a press release.

He added that the airline was "far better positioned for 2018" with stronger bookings, a growing network of routes and a better staffing situation.

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