Any excuse to pay Norway a visit

The arrival of the first of 50 Boeing 737-800s at Norwegian gives me an excuse to feature a carrier that is generally pretty low profile but by all accounts is doing some interesting things from its base in Oslo.

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In the first shot, Bjorn Kjos (in the long jacket) snips the ribbon to take delivery of his first 737-800 at Boeing Field in Seattle. Alongside him are Lindsay Andersson, manager delivery center at Boeing Field and Mark Norris from Boeing PR.

The carrier handled 6.4 million passengers in 2007, up from 5.1 million the previous year, and bought Swedish budget player FlyNordic last year too.Norwegian has been boosting its revenues at a sharp lick and could return to the black in 2007 (it made a small loss in 2006 after a small profit in 2005). It has started to shift some operations out of Scandinavia with a newly launched base in Polish capital Warsaw, and is planning to offer onboard mobile phone and internet usage this year.

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The first of Norwegian’s 189 seat 737-800s is leased from Babcock & Brown. It says eight of the 50 will be leased for delivery between now and 2010, with a further 42 arriving from 2009 to 2014.

The airline’s CEO Bjorn Kjos says: “These aircraft will increase our possibility to fly to destinations in the Middle East, northern Africa and the Canary Islands.”

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