Wednesday 6 February 2019 9:06 am

Norwegian air passenger growth flags in January

Jess Clark is a City A.M. news reporter covering retail and property.

Jess Clark is a City A.M. news reporter covering retail and property.

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Shares in Norwegian Airlines dipped this morning as the budget carrier revealed that passenger growth fell last month.

The airline, which saw shares drop almost three per cent this morning, expanded its capacity in January by 27 per cent, however total passenger traffic grew by 18 per cent, missing Reuters passenger growth forecast of 20.1 per cent.

Read more: Sale of airline Norwegian fell through because of Brexit, chairman says

Norwegian’s yield, which measures revenue per passenger carried and kilometres flown, grew to 0.35 Norwegian crowns from 0.32 last year.

Last month the group operated 99.5 per cent of its scheduled flights, up from 98.9 the previous year, and 79.8 per cent of departures left on time, an improvement from 72.4 per cent in January 2018.

Norwegian chief executive Bjorn Kjos said: “We are very pleased with the continued passenger growth in January, a month traditionally characterised by less demand.

Read more: Airline Norwegian shares fall as it goes cap-in-hand to shareholders

“Norwegian has been through a period with significant growth, but now the company will change its strategic focus from expansion and growth to profitability.”

The company’s shares plummeted by 25 per cent last week after it was forced to raise cash from shareholders after a bid from British Airways owner IAG feel through.