The global outbreak of COVID-19 that took hold across the aviation industry throughout March has heavily influenced Norwegian’s traffic figures. The company experienced a dramatic drop in demand following government-imposed travel restrictions and a general travel decline.
Norwegian immediately responded to this global change in demand and adapted its flight schedule several times during the month. The first step was to cut approximately 15 percent of planned capacity on March 10, this was then reevaluated and adjusted to up to 85 percent of planned capacity from March 16 with most cancellations starting from March 25. Capacity was 40 percent lower than planned while the flights that were operated had a load factor of 72 percent, down 13.8 percentage points compared to the same month previous year.
Compared to the same period last year total capacity (ASK) decreased by 53 percent while total passenger traffic (RPK) decreased by 60 percent. The total number of customers carried in March was 1,153,283, a decrease of 61 percent.
In March, Norwegian operated 77 percent of scheduled flights, multiple rescue flights and continued to maintain a critical regional flying infrastructure.
Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian, said: “The speed of the COVID-19 global outbreak throughout March had a profound impact on the entire Norwegian network as cancellations, in line with global travel advice and falling demand, were implemented throughout the month. Norwegian operated multiple rescue flights on behalf of the government to ensure that thousands of Scandinavian passengers could safely return home. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our dedicated colleagues, our customers and members of the public for their continued support. We will provide further financial and business updates to the Oslo Børs when it is appropriate to do so.”