Norwegian Air Q3 net profit rises, to cut capacity in winter

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OSLO (Reuters) – Norwegian Air reported a rise in third-quarter net profit on Wednesday, boosted by recovery from the pandemic and a pilot strike at rival SAS, but said it would reduce capacity by a quarter during the winter months.

The July-September net profit rose to 910 million crowns ($87.57 million) from a year-ago profit of 169 million, Norwegian said.

“For the upcoming winter months, Norwegian will utilise the flexible lease agreements by reducing capacity by approximately 25%,” CEO Geir Karlsen said in a statement, noting “current macro-economic and geopolitical uncertainty” may affect demand.

Smaller Norway-based rival Flyr on Oct. 4 said it would implement heavy spending cuts to preserve cash during the winter season, reducing the number of flights due to weak demand.

Norwegian, which came close to collapse when the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in 2020, posted quarterly revenue of 7.1 billion crowns, the highest of any quarter since the final three months of 2019, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

Pilots at main Nordic rival SAS in July went on a two-week strike, boosting Norwegian’s bookings at the height of the region’s summer travel.

Norwegian, which now focuses on its core Nordic market, said on Wednesday business travellers were flying again after the summer and were now back to pre-pandemic levels “on the most popular domestic routes in Norway”.