Norse Atlantic is Profitable for the First Time

DALLASNorse Atlantic Airways (N0), known as the “successor” to Norwegian Long Haul (DU), has unveiled its traffic and financial results for the second quarter of 2023. The transatlantic market experienced a notable improvement during the summer season.

The airline announced that it had achieved a significant milestone: its first quarterly positive EBITDAR (Earnings before Rent) of US$ 2.2 million since its establishment. Additionally, N0 reported a profitable month for the first time in its history, specifically in June. As the company stands on the cusp of the winter European season, it maintains positive momentum heading into the third quarter of the year.

Bjorn Tore Larsen, CEO of N0, said, “Q2 marked a significant period of ramping-up as we inaugurated new destinations in the US and Europe…By the end of Q2, the airline had more than doubled capacity, with June being our first month of increased production and notably our first month generating bottom-line profits.”

He continued, “By providing affordable airfares on competitive and established routes to key primary airports and destinations, we allow more people to explore the world and enjoy the experience of long-haul travel, whether for leisure or business.”

Norse still has five of its own airframes dry-leased to Spanish carrier Air Europa (UX) from July 2022. Photo: Adrian Nowakowski/Airways

30% Increase in Load Factor

With its initial approach to the transatlantic market, following almost exactly the steps taken by its predecessor, Norwegian Long Haul, N0 based its operations on connecting high-demand, high-income cities across the Atlantic with similarly-priced fares but with low-cost amenities. Norse Atlantic does not include in its fares a carry-on bag or inflight meals.

This first introduction to the industry resulted in very bad financial numbers for the LCC, which achieved a load factor smaller than 60%, meaning that, on average, their aircraft barely flew half-full with passengers. It was a result that no airline should have been proud of.

Now, with an adjusted mentality and the launch for the first time of routes to leisure destinations like Gatwick (LGW) to Jamaica and Barbados or Oslo (OSL) to Bangkok (BKK), Thailand, it has positioned itself correctly in the industry, truly understanding the clientele it had to be directed to.

With the arrival of the summer European season, load factors have increased up to 85% in July, which is a 30-point difference compared to winter. With the soon-to-be-introduced flights to these new holiday destinations in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia, it will be seen if performance will be higher and load factors will rise.

Norse Atlantic Airways Boeing 787-9 BER EDDB
The temporary retrieval of Norse from Berlin Airport will end on December 15, with direct flights to Miami. Photo: Flughafen Berlin

Still Focused on Premium Routes

Despite introducing new routes such as London-Gatwick (LGW) to Kingston (KIN), Montego Bay (MBJ), Barbados (BGI), and Oslo (OSL) to Bangkok (BKK), Norse’s focus remains on connecting affluent cities across the Atlantic Ocean through its other European bases.

While operating daily flights from Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) to New York (JFK), Norse faces competition from six different carriers offering the same route, most of which are traditional premium airlines.

After deciding to discontinue flights from Berlin-Brandenburg Airport (BER) starting October 27, Norse will make a comeback in the German capital. They plan to relaunch a single weekly flight to Miami (MIA) on Fridays, from December 15 to March 29, utilizing one Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft.

Bjorn Tore Larsen is optimistic about the strategy of Norse Atlantic, saying, “Norse will be the first truly low-cost, profitable long-haul airline.”

Featured image: Norse Atlantic Airways

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