OSLO, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Norwegian Air posted a surprise increase on Monday of revenues per passenger for July amid efforts to turn around its loss-making operations this year.
Europe’s third-largest budget airline, the subject of a recent takeover proposal by British Airways-owner IAG, is rapidly expanding its long-haul operation as it seeks to become a global carrier.
Revenues per passenger carried and kilometres flown, a key measure also known as yield, rose to 0.50 Norwegian crowns in July from 0.49 crowns a year ago, while analysts in a Reuters poll on average had predicted a decline to 0.47 crowns.
The company’s passenger traffic volume, or RPK, meanwhile rose by 33 percent year-on-year, less than the 35 percent increase in the airline’s capacity and also slightly lagging analysts’ forecasts.
“Our capacity growth is still high, but it is not increasing as rapidly as in previous months, which is in line with our strategy,” Norwegian Air Chief Executive Bjoern Kjos said in a statement.
“We have been through a long period of strong growth and going forward we will reap what we have sown for the benefit of our customers, staff and shareholders,” he added.
Norwegian Air last month posted a surprise net profit of 254 million Norwegian crowns ($30.75 million) for the first six months of 2018 after losing 1.8 billion crowns in 2017. ($1 = 8.2597 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Ole Petter Skonnord)