Low-cost carrier Norwegian today reported a plunge into the red for 2014 following seven profitable years.
Losses came in at more than one billion NOK against a net profit of 322 million NOK in 2013.
Major currency fluctuations and fuel hedging for 2015 had a negative impact of 690 million NOK for the year.
Long-haul delays cost the carrier 265 million NOK, including wet lease costs, extra fuel, as well as accommodation, food and drink expenses for delayed passengers.
Costs related to the delayed approval of a US foreign air carrier permit for the company’s EU subsidiary were 117 million NOK.
A strike by labour union Parat in May 2014 amounted to a loss of 101 million NOK.
The airline’s total annual revenue was 19.5 billion NOK – an increase of 25% over 2013. Carryings rose by 16% to 24 million passengers.
CEO Bjørn Kjos said: “There is no denying that 2014 has been a weak year for Norwegian. At the same time, we do see several positive trends entering 2015.
“Last year was characterized by the continued international expansion, not least the launch of new long-haul routes.
“Our growth strategy yields results as we continue to gain a stronger global foothold. Even with large investment costs, we have managed to reduce unit costs and renewed our fleet considerably.
“Entering 2015, we see a satisfactory demand for quality flights at affordable fares and are already in the first quarter benefiting from the low oil price.
“Still, there is no doubt that we need to further reduce our cost level in order to stay competitive in a very challenging market.”
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