Norwegian Sees Improving Passenger Numbers In May

Despite Norwegian passenger numbers continuing to fall short of pre-pandemic levels, the situation is slowly improving for the budget airline. The carrier recently reported its May traffic figures, which highlight a 97% increase in RPK (Revenue Passenger Kilometers) from the same period in 2020.

Norwegian Sees Improving Passenger Numbers In May
Once having operated the 787-9 and the 737 MAX 8, Norwegian’s fleet is now entirely comprised of Boeing 737-800s. Photo: Norwegian

“Bookings for the summer are increasing day by day driven by the gradual reopening in Scandinavia and as travel restrictions are easing.” – Norwegian May 2021 Traffic Report

An increasingly positive trend

Publishing its May traffic statistics, Norwegian reports that its performance is still heavily affected by international travel restrictions. It says, however, that numbers are showing “a noticeable increase in volume.” It cites vaccination rollouts, changes to entry restrictions, and an easing of quarantine regulations as contributing factors.

The key numbers for May 2021 are as follows:

  • Passengers: 96,909 customers flew with Norwegian. This is approximately 23,000 more than at the same time last year.
  • Capacity: A 41% increase in Airline Seat Kilometers (ASK) compared with May 2020.
  • Passenger Traffic: Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPK) up 97% from May 2020.
  • Load Factor: 54.8% up from 38.8% the same time last year.

For the month of May 2021, Norwegian says that it operated ten aircraft, mainly on Norwegian domestic routes. “The company operated 99.1% of its scheduled flights in May, whereof 95.9% departed on time,” it adds.

Norwegian Sees Improving Passenger Numbers In May
Norwegian’s fleet reduction is an indication of its significant service cuts. Once an operator of long-haul, transatlantic service, the airline’s current focus is on domestic routes in Norway. Photo: Norwegian

Looking forward to the months ahead

Norwegian’s CEO is optimistic about the months ahead. In a statement on its website, he said the following:

“Despite low volumes, we are experiencing an increasingly positive trend in the number of bookings for the summer and autumn period. This is especially noticeable in the Scandinavian market.

The increase in the number of bookings demonstrates a clear connection with the announced and gradual opening of society and the relaxing of travel restrictions by government authorities.”

 – Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian

Schram also says that his airline is “prepared and ready” to increase its route network to meet increases in customer demand.

Norwegian Sees Improving Passenger Numbers In May
The continuation of the vaccine rollout, combined with a summer season of pent-up demand, should result in Norwegian experiencing increased passenger traffic in the months ahead. Photo: Norwegian

Where has Norwegian been these days?

The map below displays all flights for Norwegian scheduled for the next seven days. As stated by the airline, its focus is indeed on domestic routes within Norway. We can also see a few domestic routes within Sweden as well.

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests.

Some of the airline’s longer services see it shuttling travelers from Norway and Sweden to Mediterranean destinations in Spain, Italy, Croatia, and Greece.

Norwegian Sees Improving Passenger Numbers In May
A visualization of Norwegian’s routes in the next seven days. Photo:

With its operations hit hard by the global health crisis, it’s encouraging to see the airline posting positive numbers, accompanied by an increasingly rosy outlook.

Have you flown with Norwegian before? Do you have plans to fly with them again? Let us know in the comments.