A new boss from outside the aviation industry has been confirmed at the helm of loss-making budget airline Norwegian Air.

Jacob Schram takes over as chief executive on January 1 while interim boss Geir Karlsen will continue as chief financial officer and deputy CEO.

Karlsen stepped in when airline co-founder Bjorn Kjos left in July and instigated a turnaround strategy.

Schram has 30 years of experience with large international companies and joins from being a senior advisor to McKinsey.

He was chief executive of Statoil Fuel & Retail, later acquired by Canada’s Couche-Tard to become Circle K. Schram initiated and led the global rebranding to Circle K at more than 10 000 stores across Couche-Tard’s international network and service stations.


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Schram said:The airline industry is characterised by strong competition and unforeseen events, but it is also an industry that is important to people everywhere.

“I look forward to using my experience to build on the strong foundation laid down by Bjorn Kjos, Geir Karlsen and the rest of the talented and dedicated Norwegian team.

“Now, my main focus will be to bring the company back to profitability and fortify the company’s position as a strong international player within the aviation industry.”

The airline’s president Niels Smedegaard said Schram had been appointed following a thorough search process.

“His extensive management experience from global companies, proven leadership skills, strong commercial consumer orientation and impressive track record of value creation will greatly benefit Norwegian as the company enters into a new phase,” he added.

“Together we will drive efficiency and continuous improvements to the benefit of our customers, shareholders and employees.”