Norwegian Air to relaunch MAXes in October

Cornelia Mascio
Luglio 12, 2019

Norwegian Air's Bjoern Kjos said that he would continue working as an adviser to the airline's chairman, focused on industry alliances and building on a recent agreement with rival EasyJet.

The chief executive and co-founder of Norwegian Air Shuttle said Thursday he was retiring with immediate effect, saying he is "way over on overtime" to explain his departure.

He added that he looked forward to "new challenges" at Norwegian and welcomed Geir Karlsen as the company's acting CEO, stating that he was "incredibly proud of what the team has achieved together".

While its heavily discounted transatlantic fares have shaken up the market, Norwegian has been left with an unwieldy.

"I am way overdue", Kjos, laughing, told a news conference, announcing his plans to quit the top job.

The carrier's fleet consists mostly of Boeing aircraft and was forced to postpone sales of six 737 Max 8s, as well as take emergency actions since March to reduce profit losses with contingencies to minimise flight disruptions and cancellations.

Shares in Norwegian Air were down 5.4% at 1000 GMT in volatile trading.

The airline also said it expected its 18 grounded Boeing BA.N 737 MAX aircraft to return to service in October, compared with its previous view that they would return to service in August.

"Bjørn is definitely one of the most influential European entrepreneurs of our time", Mr Smedegaard added.

The 737 Max fleet of jets was grounded after two crashes, the first a Lion Air flight which crashed into the sea off Jakarta previous year, and the second an Ethiopian Airlines' flight which crashed shortly after take off from Addis Ababa in March.

The company signed a letter of intent in February with an "Asian company" but few concrete details on a possible deal have come since then.

The company, which was set up in 1993, reported second-quarter earnings that beat expectations on Thursday.

Its net profit came in at NOK82.8m (€8.5m), down from NOK300.3m (€31m) in the same period a year ago, but ahead of the average forecast of NOK76.2m (€7.9m) from five analysts compiled by Refinitiv.

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