© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Norwegian Air plane is refuelled at Oslo Gardermoen airport, Norway November 7, 2019. Picture taken November 7, 2019. REUTERS/Lefteris Karagiannopoulos/File Photo
By Victoria Klesty
OSLO (Reuters) -Norwegian Air reported a first-quarter loss on Friday, and said strong booking numbers would give the budget carrier a boost for the summer season.
The January-March net loss decreased to 993 million Norwegian crowns ($94.7 million) from a year-ago loss of 1.03 billion, Norwegian said.
During the first quarter, normally a slow period for holiday travel, the company curtailed capacity by up to 30% to reduce costs.
“With strong booking numbers that continue to be encouraging, Norwegian prepares for what is expected to be one of the company’s strongest summers ever,” the airline said in a statement.
Average fares booked so far for the June-August period are up 25% compared to last year, it added.
“For the full-year of 2023, the company is forecasting a significant increase in unit revenue from last year,” Norwegian said.
At the same time, the carrier cut its forecast for overall capacity this year, so-called available seat kilometres, or ASK, to 32,500 from 34,000, which it said reflected plans to curtail capacity next winter.
Norwegian emerged from government-backed bankruptcy proceedings two years ago after shedding much of its debt as well as its transatlantic network.
The region’s legacy player SAS is under U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection proceedings, with U.S. asset manager Apollo Global Management (NYSE:) Inc planning to take a majority stake as part of the rescue plan.
($1 = 10.4882 Norwegian crowns)