The new boss of Norwegian Air today gave an optimistic outlook as the budget carrier revealed it is delivering on a strategy of moving from growth to profitability.

Passenger carryings for 2019 fell by 3% to 36.2 million over the previous year due to planned capacity cuts and “optimisation” of the route network.

Overall unit revenue increased by 7%, while the airline’s on-time performance was close to 80% and the load factor was 86.6%. CO2 emissions were reduced by 4% to 69 grams per passenger.

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December carryings fell by 19% year-on-year to 2.2 million with an improved load factor up from 78.6% to 83.5% as capacity was trimmed by a quarter, helping deliver a 21% rise in revenue.

New chief executive Jacob Schram said: “Just a few days into my role as CEO of Norwegian, it’s a pleasure for me to present positive traffic figures.

“Throughout 2019, Norwegian’s dedicated employees have made an impressive effort delivering on the strategy of moving from growth to profitability.”

He added: “Throughout the year, the company has worked on reducing the capacity in line with demand and worked continuously to set a route structure adapted to the large seasonal fluctuations across the industry. At the same time, emissions are being reduced compared to previous years.

“The ticket sales for the next months ahead are looking good, both for business- and leisure travellers. I would like to welcome all new and loyal customers on board.

“I am now looking forward to getting to know the company and the employees better. In the coming weeks, my first priority will be Norwegian’s dedicated employees, as I will be visiting a number of Norwegian’s offices and bases.”