Abta17: Norwegian Air reviews short-haul capacity

Abta17: Norwegian Air reviews short-haul capacity

Norwegian Air is reviewing its short-haul capacity and confirmed none of its new aircraft will be used on these routes.

Head of sales UK and Ireland Dominic Tucker admitted there was too much capacity in the short-haul market. He said the focus out of the UK had been on long-haul because the cost-base was “sustainable”.

The load factor on Norwegian’s short-haul flights is 85%, compared to 96% on its long-haul network.

The low-cost airline has 220 aircraft on order and is poised to add several new routes to Asia. 19 new planes were delivered this year.

Speaking during a ‘Designing the Future’ session at Abta’s Travel Convention, Tucker said Brexit had had little impact on Norwegian.

Rebutting Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary’s recent suggestion that Norwegian was “less financially secure and Brexit-challenged”, Tucker said: “We ate less Brexit challenged than Ryanair.  We have been profitable for ten years and have strong cash flow.”

However, he said Norwegian would always be open to having talks with rival Ryanair about partnering “where it will match its network”.

Norwegian will focus less on price and more on aspirational customers in its marketing as it strives to be a “big player”, Tucker said.

Currently, Norwegian is 80% sold through direct channels but Tucker said the airline had received a lot of support from specialist agents. Around 100 agents have net fare agreements.

Commenting on Monarch’s collapse, Tucker questioned why the government could not use cash raised from APD to pay for the repatriation of Monarch customers.

Travel Weekly’s full coverage of The Travel Convention

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