Norwegian reveals 'huge' cost of March pilots' strike

Norwegian reveals 'huge' cost of March pilots' strike

The cost of last month’s strike by Scandinavian pilots at budget carrier Norwegian totalled 350 million Norwegian krona (£29.35m).

The figure in additional costs and loss of revenue was disclosed by the airline today as it revealed a drop in passenger carryings in March.

“For the first time ever, Norwegian has had a decline in number of passengers compared with the same month the previous year,” the airline said.

“The decline is mainly in Scandinavia and due to the cancellation of almost 2,000 flights.”

Cancelled flights amounted to a loss of 120 million krona, while additional costs related to taking care of affected passengers came to 110 million krona. This included buying tickets with other airlines, as well as food and accommodation for stranded passengers.

The loss of income through loss of forward bookings is estimated to be 120 million krona.

Overall passenger carryings in March dropped by 4% year-on-year to 1.7 million.

“Negative effects from the pilot strike and non existent Easter traffic are also expected in April’s traffic figures this year,” the airline said.

“But bookings have gradually picked up again, due to several sales campaigns after the strike.

“However, solid booking figures during spring will not be able to compensate for loss of income during the strike.

Chief executive Bjørn Kjos said: “The strike among the Scandinavian pilots affected our company considerably and amounted to huge additional costs.

“Fortunately, we continue to attract many new customers in Europe and America, which offsets the fact that customers in Scandinavia were forced to fly with our competitors for a period of time.

“Had we not had such a large customer base outside of Scandinavia and so many hardworking employees, the situation would have been even more difficult.”

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