Nor­we­gian sub­sidiary lost €205m in 2016

Rev­enues from Nor­we­gian’s transat­lantic flights from Ire­land will be pub­lished in 2018

The Irish Times - Business - - BUSINESS NEWS - BARRY O’HAL­LO­RAN

Nor­we­gian Air Shut­tle’s Ir­ish sub­sidiary lost more than €170 mil­lion on the sale of Euro­pean flights last year, the lat­est fig­ures show.

The Scan­di­na­vian group’s Ir­ish arm, Nor­we­gian Air In­ter­na­tional, be­gan fly­ing from Ire­land to the north­east­ern United States in July.

Ac­counts just filed for the Dublin-based com­pany show it lost $205 mil­lion (€172.5 mil­lion) in 2016, al­most four times the $60 mil­lion short­fall recorded in 2015. Rev­enue more than dou­bled to $1.52 bil­lion from $720 mil­lion.

The fig­ures cover Nor­we­gian’s flights within Europe in 2016, not rev­enue from routes launched from this coun­try in July, which will be in­cluded in ac­counts pub­lished in 2018.

A spokesman said Nor­we­gian Air In­ter­na­tional is likely to launch fur­ther long-haul ser­vices from Ire­land and western Europe next year. “That is part of what we are fi­nal­is­ing at the moment,” he ex­plained.

“We are look­ing at the map to see where in western Europe we can fly from, the only limit on what we can do is how far our air­craft can fly.”

Cheap long-haul flights

Nor­we­gian es­tab­lished the Ir­ish sub­sidiary in 2014 to of­fer cheap long-haul flights from Europe to the US and Asia. At the same time that it launched its Ir­ish ser­vices in July it also be­gan fly­ing from Ber­gen in Nor­way to the US.

Its spokesman added that its plan to hire 40 pi­lots for a new base in Dublin was part of this pro­posed ex­pan­sion.

Nor­we­gian sold about 90 per cent of the avail­able seats on its flights from Belfast, Cork, Dublin and Shannon to Rhode Is­land and New York. The air­line has be­gun sell­ing flights on the same ser­vices for next sum­mer.

The group’s leas­ing arm, Arc­tic Avi­a­tion As­sets, is also based in the Re­pub­lic. Fig­ures for this busi­ness, which owns about half of Nor­we­gian Air Shut­tle’s air­craft, show it had $1.5 bil­lion in as­sets at the end of last year.

Re­ports in­di­cated that the group was con­sid­er­ing sell­ing Arc­tic Avi­a­tion to help ease a cash crunch re­sult­ing from its rapid ex­pan­sion.

How­ever, its spokesman said it had no “real in­ten­tion” of sell­ing the com­pany, and would only con­sider this should it need to in the fu­ture. “We are fi­nan­cially sta­ble and have strong liq­uid­ity,” he added.

The group is also con­tin­u­ing talks about a pos­si­ble agree­ment with ri­val Ryanair on feed­ing pas­sen­gers to each oth­ers’ net­works.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: CHRIS RAT­CLIFFE/BLOOMBERG

Nor­we­gian group’s Ir­ish arm, Nor­we­gian Air In­ter­na­tional, re­cently be­gan fly­ing from Ire­land to the north­east­ern US.

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