What are your key bases and markets?
Norwegian is Scandinavia’s second largest airline and Europe’s third largest low-cost carrier (LCC). We offer 261 direct routes to more than 100 destinations and our main hubs are in Norway (Bergen, Oslo, Stavanger and Trondheim), Stockholm in Sweden, Copenhagen in Denmark and Helsinki in Finland. Outside our home markets we particularly have a strong presence in the UK and in Spain.
What is your fleet mix?
Our fleet consists of B737-800s and B737-300s. We have ordered 78 brand new B737-800s to be delivered between 2008 and 2018. At the same time we are in the process of phasing out our older B737-300s. Our plan is to have a unitary fleet of B737-800s by the end of 2012.
The order of 78 new B737-800s gives us an opportunity to secure and invest in the company’s future and will give us a tremendous competitive advantage, enabling us to further reduce our overall costs. Brand new, fuel-efficient and more environmentally friendly aircraft are necessary for us to continue to grow and keep costs down.
What are you looking for when you choose a new route?
Our primary goal is to fly point-to-point from our main hubs. However, it is also important to offer direct routes from smaller regions in our home markets to popular destinations abroad. For instance, this winter we are launching Bodo-Las Palmas and Ålesund-Alicante.
You have six B787 Dreamliners on order or lease, where will you be deploying these aircraft?
Bangkok and New York will be on the route map, as well as other interesting destinations.
LCCs typically avoid operating long-haul services, why do you think Norwegian can make such routes a success?
We believe there will be significant growth in the long-haul market, when lower fares are introduced, particularly from Asia. As an early operator of the Dreamliner, we will be able to get cost reductions of
about 30% compared with existing aircraft. We run a very efficient operation that combined with high utilisation will be able to reduce the cost level even more.
Norwegian is one of the fastest growing airlines in Europe. What
do you attribute this success to?
We have a lean organisation that is profit and efficiency driven. In order to stay competitive it is crucial to have a strong focus on costs and by reducing our costs we are able to offer our passengers inexpensive fares to exciting destinations. Innovation is another key element to success, for example we were the first airline in Europe to offer free inflight WiFi.
We have also met our customers demand for efficient travel, we were an early adopter of self-service kiosks, self-service bag drops, and we were the first LCC to introduce the possibility to bypass check-in.
How do you keep costs low while maintaining customer service?
We outsource a lot of our functions to lower cost countries than the Nordics, as well as focusing a lot on recruiting crew and staff with the right attitude towards customer service. We also try to automate a lot of the service functions. This makes it easier for the customer and less costly for us.
What is the best thing about Norway?
Beautiful, accessible nature!
What is your ‘little known fact’?
I have a passion for travelling to the least visited countries in the world.
Why did you join the aviation industry?
It’s an industry that makes a difference. Our work is improving worldwide relations, letting people see new places and not the least is an engine for people to meet other people.
What is your life philosophy?
“Seize the day.”