Norwegian Air summer ramp-up hit by air traffic control strikes

Air traffic control problems hit Norwegian Air Group last month as capacity was ramped up for the summer.

More than half (51%) of all cancelled flights took place on April 25, with both air traffic control strikes in Europe and the closure of airspace in Norway having a “large impact” on it and other airlines’ operations. 

The punctuality, share of flights departing within 15 minutes of scheduled time, was 81.3%, down two percentage points from April last year.

Norwegian Air operated an average of 81 aircraft last month, up from 73 in March, as the summer programme was introduced. 

However, the company said: “Regularity was negatively impacted in April, in large part due to ATC issues in Norwegian airspace.”

Norwegian Air capacity was up by 18% year-on-year with carryings totalling 1.9 million, while regional arm Wider handled 315,495 passengers.

The load factor for April was 80.3%, down three percentage points, in part due to the early Easter that this year mainly fell in March. 

A total of nine new routes were introduced in April as part of a summer schedule that includes a total of 47 new services.

Group chief executive Geir Karlsen said: “April marked a significant ramp up in capacity and we had on average 14 more aircraft in operation compared to the same month last year. 

“The passenger numbers show an increase of 13% compared to the same period last year.”


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