Long-haul budget carrier Norse Atlantic Airways is aiming for full-year profitability, having trimmed first-quarter operating losses by around 15%.

Chief executive Bjorn Tore Larsen says the quarter has demonstrated “major improvement on all metrics” since last year.

It doubled revenues to $78.2 million, as passenger numbers increased by more than 80% to over 200,000, and average fares and ancillary revenues rose.

While it hiked capacity by 72%, the corresponding passenger traffic rise pushed load factor up 19 points to 73%. Norse says its ex-fuel unit cost has fallen 28%.

Operating losses reduced by 15% to $53.4 million while net losses were down 11% to $62.8 million.

Norse 787-c-Norse Atlantic Airways

Source: Norse Atlantic Airways

Norse is refining its seasonal strategy by seeking longer-term winter contracts

“This winter we have developed seasonal strategies, with more emphasis on holiday destinations and charters,” says Larsen, adding that it carried out 107 charter flights during the quarter.

“We will refine this strategy further for next winter, with several longer-term contracts secured or under negotiation.”

Norse also expects to have a strong summer, for which it will operate 12 Boeing 787s compared with the previous 10.

The carrier says its year-to-date bookings have increased significantly compared with last year, with tickets up 45%, and states that this will improve cash-flow.

“Norse is on a path towards year-round profitability,” says Larsen. “A successful summer 2024 is the next important stepping-stone on that journey.”