Norwegian Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner. Photo: Juraj Patekar.

LONDON — This week, Norwegian starts off by releasing its passenger number results for April 2018 and announcing an all-new route from Amsterdam (AMS).

The new route from Amsterdam to New York-John F Kennedy is the carrier’s first-ever nonstop flight to Amsterdam from the U.S.

“Amsterdam is one of the most popular cities in Europe, as well as a favorite among Americans, so it was a clear choice to add to our route network as we continue to expand our transatlantic presence,” said Thomas Ramdahl, Norwegian’s Chief Communications Officer.

“We are excited to give New Yorkers a more affordable direct access to Holland. Travelers will be able to enjoy award-winning service onboard our brand-new fleet, whilst saving their money,” he said.

Passenger Numbers

Norwegian also reported a 16% increase in passenger numbers compared to the same period last year.

The airline carried 3,049,249 passengers in a single month, which was 411,020 more than April 2017. Their total traffic growth amounted to an increase of 44% with their capacity growth increasing by 51% respectively.

However, they did record a decrease in their load factors by 3.6% to 83%. The airline’s high capacity growth is said to be due to the company’s long-haul routes, which they have expanded by double since last year.

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“We have a strong passenger growth this month, despite the effects of the Easter traffic. Our load factor is solid, and the company’s long-haul capacity has grown considerably since the same period last year, with a record high growth of 311 percent outside the Nordics,” stated CEO of Norwegian, Bjørn Kjos.

“As a result of the capacity increase we have offered a high volume of low fare tickets to attract new customers, consequently impacting the yield this month,” he said.

In terms of punctuality, the carrier operated 99.4% their scheduled flights for April 2018, where 81.3% of them departed on time.

Also, the airline took delivery of one Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft in April and will take a total of 11 787-9 Dreamliners, 12 Boeing 737 MAX 8s and two Boeing 737-800s over the course of this year, to cater for the additional capacity growth that has been witnessed in the carrier.

The launch of Amsterdam

This new service is to operate four times per week from JFK. The route expands the carrier’s emergence at New York’s main airport, in which six flights operate to Europe, and two flights to the French Caribbean.

PHOTO: Norwegian Air.
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Norwegian’s presence in JFK will continue to grow into the late summer where the seventh European route to Madrid will be in service on July 16th.

“We are thrilled that travelers in the New York region have a new, affordable way to travel to Holland with Norwegian’s new direct route,” said Antonia Koedijk, Director, North America, Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions.

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“More and more Americans are visiting Holland each year, and we think Norwegian’s modern, yet cost-efficient way of flying fits perfectly with our travelers who are looking to explore Holland in a different way,” Koedijk continued.

Unstoppable Growth?

Overall, it has been a massive bank holiday for Norwegian. Although the critics are providing the view of the carrier by growing too quickly, their passenger numbers keep growing.

As for Amsterdam, the JFK route is an already well-served route, which could pose some dangers to carriers such as Delta and American Airlines who will be now fighting competitively on price against the ULCC.

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With the rejected offers from IAG in a full takeover of the carrier also happening recently, the airline has sent a message out that they will not be succumbing to pressure just yet.

CEO Kjos looks like he wishes to give it a further go with the carrier before giving up, which is reflecting on the success through passengers using the service. When sustainability improves within the carrier, they can ultimately become something scary to fend against in the airline industry.