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Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAX)

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Does anyone have experience with Norwegian Air Shuttle LAX to BCN? Or any other long haul route worth noting? We are taking our first trip to Europe on this airline to cross back over the Atlantic on NCL's Epic in November. Good and bad reviews are appreciated. If this topic has been posted already, I apologize. Thank you in advance:D

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I have not flown with them or any of their other iterations but I found this article on flyertalk.com today.

 

https://www.flyertalk.com/articles/norwegians-right-to-fly-in-the-u-s-may-be-jeopardized.html

 

I have no idea how this would effect already booked flights if the bill passes but it is something to be aware of.

 

As far as the seats, the pitch and width match United's standard economy seats so it is pretty tight with just 31 inches of leg room.

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If that bill passes what will that mean for all of us that have flights booked. We are booked to travel to London in December round trip..... thanks

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We have considered flying them because of their reasonable price for extra leg room seats. However, if I am thinking of the same airline as you, my concern is they do not have many flights and if a flight were to be cancelled, it could mean missing a cruise ship even allowing for flying in early. I believe this airline does not offer daily flights? If I am incorrect about this, then I apologize.

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If that bill passes what will that mean for all of us that have flights booked.
It depends on what form any law eventually takes and what provisions there are, if any, for a transition.

 

And then it depends on what measures Norwegian takes to comply with the law. For example, it could reorganise its fleet and flights so that you're transferred from the airline that you're currently booked with to another airline in Norwegian's group that does comply with the law.

 

So in short, who knows? But it is at least theoretically possible that your currently-booked flights will be cancelled and you'll have to make other arrangements - with the benefit of protection under Regulation 261/2004, of course, if it applies to the airline that your booking is currently with.

 

We have considered flying them because of their reasonable price for extra leg room seats. However, if I am thinking of the same airline as you, my concern is they do not have many flights and if a flight were to be cancelled, it could mean missing a cruise ship even allowing for flying in early. I believe this airline does not offer daily flights?
It will depend on which route, but I think that this is correct on certain routes. But a frequency on a particular route of less than once per day is not unusual, even for the biggest airlines.

 

Personally, if I had a critical booking on Norwegian, I would also be watching its financial situation reasonably carefully. After lots of rumours over the last couple of years, the last few weeks have seen a lot of reported open industry/analyst chatter plus a few public moves by the airline that suggest that there is something behind those rumours.

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my concern is they do not have many flights and if a flight were to be cancelled, it could mean missing a cruise ship even allowing for flying in early. I believe this airline does not offer daily flights?

 

It will depend on which route, but I think that this is correct on certain routes. But a frequency on a particular route of less than once per day is not unusual, even for the biggest airlines.

/quote]

 

But a big difference is that the biggest airlines may have more rebooking options via the partners in their airline alliance. I may be wrong, but I don't believe Norwegian is part of one of the big alliances. ??

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It will depend on which route, but I think that this is correct on certain routes. But a frequency on a particular route of less than once per day is not unusual, even for the biggest airlines.

/quote]

 

But a big difference is that the biggest airlines may have more rebooking options via the partners in their airline alliance. I may be wrong, but I don't believe Norwegian is part of one of the big alliances. ??

 

 

Thank you for elaborating on my post. I should have gone on to complete that point that partner airlines may not be available to assist in the case of a flight cancellation. In fact when I researched using them, they only had two or maybe 3 flights per week!! If trying to arrive for a cruise, that is a chance I prefer not to take.

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partner airlines may not be available to assist in the case of a flight cancellation. In fact when I researched using them, they only had two or maybe 3 flights per week!! If trying to arrive for a cruise, that is a chance I prefer not to take.

 

There are never any guarantees, but at least with an airline that is part of an alliance you have options. With an airline that has no alliance membership or partners, you are far more limited.

 

I'm a little puzzled that when you searched airline alliance partners you only found 2-3 flights per week. ??? The big airlines in the big alliances tend to have DAILY flights on a lot of their routes. If you look at Sky Team for instance, you have quite a few daily flights to get from the US to Europe on Delta, Air France or KLM, for starters. Maybe you're going to Rome and you're booked on Delta and you see ONE daily flight from ATL-FCO. But Delta or their partners could also get you to Paris or Amsterdam (daily) and you could connect from there. They could also get you from ATL to Detroit or New York and then to Europe from there, if necessary. These are the kinds of options you wouldn't have on a budget airline with more limited routes and no alliance membership.

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There are never any guarantees, but at least with an airline that is part of an alliance you have options. With an airline that has no alliance membership or partners, you are far more limited.

 

I'm a little puzzled that when you searched airline alliance partners you only found 2-3 flights per week. ??? The big airlines in the big alliances tend to have DAILY flights on a lot of their routes. If you look at Sky Team for instance, you have quite a few daily flights to get from the US to Europe on Delta, Air France or KLM, for starters. Maybe you're going to Rome and you're booked on Delta and you see ONE daily flight from ATL-FCO. But Delta or their partners could also get you to Paris or Amsterdam (daily) and you could connect from there. They could also get you from ATL to Detroit or New York and then to Europe from there, if necessary. These are the kinds of options you wouldn't have on a budget airline with more limited routes and no alliance membership.

 

 

 

I was referring to Norwegian Air only having 2 or 3 flights per week to where we were going. Not a big airline with alliance partners. That is what concerned me...only 2 or 3 flights and NO alliance as a back up. Yes, Norwegian’s prices are a deal but not willimg to risk flying them with the possibility of missing the cruise.

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Possibly problems due to RR engine airworthiness directive on 787-8,9.

This could affect many flights on other airlines as well. Flew Norwegian to Copenhagen two years ago. Great flight, good service.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Forums

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Possibly problems due to RR engine airworthiness directive on 787-8,9.

This could affect many flights on other airlines as well.

At present, that's true.

 

However, Norwegian has been well-known for doing this for years now because its long-haul schedules have always been stretched by its fleet plan and because the 787 has been pretty unreliable from day one - Norwegian was an unusually vocal complainer at earlier stages.

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Personally, if I had a critical booking on Norwegian, I would also be watching its financial situation reasonably carefully. After lots of rumours over the last couple of years, the last few weeks have seen a lot of reported open industry/analyst chatter plus a few public moves by the airline that suggest that there is something behind those rumours.
I notice that Michael O'Leary, the CEO of Ryanair, had some typically pithy things to say about Norwegian when asked whether Ryanair was interested in buying Norwegian (as Norwegian's CEO appeared to have claimed):-

 

We have not made an approach to Norwegian and we have no interest. Our CEO has repeatedly said we believe (Norwegian Air Shuttle) will go bust as oil rises to $80 a barrel and we don’t catch falling knives.

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There have been a couple of cautionary tales this month: both Primera and Cobalt have ceased operations.

 

Although they were much smaller airlines than Norwegian, that doesn't change the fact that Norwegian is highly indebted, highly operationally geared and publicly known to be financially strained; nor does it change the apparent continuing upward trend of the price of oil. If Norwegian goes under, it could (like these two) happen without any advance warning.

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And for further evidence that there are increasing financial pressures on the "low-priced" carriers across the Atlantic, WOW Airlines just announced that they are eliminating service from five cities in the USA.
 

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On 10/19/2018 at 3:45 PM, FlyerTalker said:

And for further evidence that there are increasing financial pressures on the "low-priced" carriers across the Atlantic, WOW Airlines just announced that they are eliminating service from five cities in the USA.
 

 

The pressure goes in both directions.  I found it interesting that Norwegian has passed BA in terms of largest foreign airline passenger count from New York:

 

https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2018/1009/1001885-norwegian-air/

 

I am sure the revenue numbers are vastly skewed to BA, but I wouldn't count all these carriers out just yet.

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On 10/24/2018 at 9:33 PM, SelectSys said:

The pressure goes in both directions.  I found it interesting that Norwegian has passed BA in terms of largest foreign airline passenger count from New York:

 

https://www.rte.ie/news/business/2018/1009/1001885-norwegian-air/

 

w17kpe.jpg

 

See https://media.uk.norwegian.com/pressreleases/norwegian-now-largest-non-us-airline-serving-new-york-2750705

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10 hours ago, Globaliser said:

 

Are you suggesting that Norwegian lied in terms of their passenger counts?   Is it "fake news?"   I would expect that as a publicly traded company, Norwegian is at least somewhat cautious in their publication of data.

 

The attached link is their latest investor presentation: https://www.norwegian.com/globalassets/ip/documents/about-us/company/investor-relations/reports-and-presentations/investor-presentation-september-2018.pdf  Slide 10 indicates the US is now Norwegian's 2nd largest market.  The route map on slide 16 shows why.  When I looked at more local flights, Norwegian seemed to have more non-stop European destinations than any other airline from LAX.  Again, I wouldn't count them out just yet.  

Edited by SelectSys

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9 hours ago, SelectSys said:

Are you suggesting that Norwegian lied in terms of their passenger counts?   Is it "fake news?"   I would expect that as a publicly traded company, Norwegian is at least somewhat cautious in their publication of data.

 

I'm a lawyer. One of the profession's mottos is "Why lie, when the truth can be so misleading?" It's just like the old complaint about "lies, damned lies, and statistics".

 

The reality is that these numbers really don't mean very much. This was nothing more than a puff piece put out by Norwegian that has little objective meaning, but has (as so often the case these days) simply been regurgitated by a credulous press that doesn't have enough time to think let alone write. Norwegian's PR department would have celebrated another good win. But only the gullible could think that this story matters.

 

For present purposes, that is underlined by the fact that in this industry more than any other, it really doesn't matter how big you are or how many passengers you carry if you don't make a profit. In fact, if you make a loss on each passenger, then the bigger you are the more money you're losing.

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On 10/27/2018 at 5:10 AM, Globaliser said:

 

I'm a lawyer. One of the profession's mottos is "Why lie, when the truth can be so misleading?" It's just like the old complaint about "lies, damned lies, and statistics".

 

The reality is that these numbers really don't mean very much. This was nothing more than a puff piece put out by Norwegian that has little objective meaning, but has (as so often the case these days) simply been regurgitated by a credulous press that doesn't have enough time to think let alone write. Norwegian's PR department would have celebrated another good win. But only the gullible could think that this story matters.

 

For present purposes, that is underlined by the fact that in this industry more than any other, it really doesn't matter how big you are or how many passengers you carry if you don't make a profit. In fact, if you make a loss on each passenger, then the bigger you are the more money you're losing.

 

Yes, lawyers are great story tellers and have led the gullible and naive to reach false conclusions.  I see it all the time in my country were effective representation can allow one to literally get away with murder or some other egregious offence.

 

The fact remains, where once BA carried more passengers from New York to Europe, now it is Norwegian. In LA,  Norwegian serves more European cities from LA with direct service than any other airline - perhaps more than BA, Lufthansa and Air France combined.   

 

The reality is that these numbers are actually quite compelling such that those who  truly matter have taken action against Norwegian.  Both Lufthansa and IAG have made attempts to buy them out.  Additionally,  both AIG and Lufthansa  have carriers to more directly compete against them -  Level, Condor and Edelweiss.  Unfortunately, Norwegian's US competitors have partnered up with your local, professional colleagues to keep them out via the courts rather than take them on directly.

 

In terms of profitability, the airline industry is full of examples where carriers have survived many years with continued losses and/or re-organizational bankruptcies. Toss in nationalism and the airline industry becomes the "theater of the absurd" with carriers like Alitalia.  

 

We shall see if Norwegian makes it over the "long haul" or not.  I have been reading about their eminent demise ever since they started flying outside of Europe and took on the 787.  The airline has challenges, but I think we'll be talking about them for some time to come as a player in the transatlantic market.. 

Edited by SelectSys

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3 hours ago, SelectSys said:

The fact remains, where once BA carried more passengers from New York to Europe, now it is Norwegian.

 

But this actually highlights why the statistics and the comparison between them is so meaningless. BA has never carried passengers from New York to "Europe" generally. It's always been primarily in the business of carrying passengers from New York to London, with occasional additions of some other UK cities. (If you stretch it to include the OpenSkies subsidiary, then there was a small and unsuccessful line in New York to Paris.)

 

About the only reliable thing that you can get from these particular numbers is that Norwegian has been growing. And for any observer of the airline industry over the last few years, that has been as meaningful as saying that two plus two equals four: we've all seen it, and we all know it.

 

And to get back to the bad journalism point: the (lack of) significance is demonstrated by where the story came from. Norwegian's PR department put it out, based on numbers that few people understand, and it got regurgitated. It would have been different if the story had originated in some credible and trustworthy independent analysis, and those authors had pointed to some real significance in them.

 

3 hours ago, SelectSys said:

The reality is that these numbers are actually quite compelling such that those who  truly matter have taken action against Norwegian.  Both Lufthansa and IAG have made attempts to buy them out.  Additionally,  both AIG and Lufthansa  have carriers to more directly compete against them -  Level, Condor and Edelweiss.

 

Maybe you need to revisit what's been happening here. Lufthansa (Group) and IAG were both interested in exploring Norwegian because it could have been a tasty purchase at the bargain basement valuation caused by its well-publicised financial troubles, which have led Norwegian to take the drastic measures it has (like major asset sales) this year - of which you are no doubt fully aware.

 

And Condor is not a Lufthansa Group airline.

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On 10/28/2018 at 11:34 AM, Globaliser said:

 

But this actually highlights why the statistics and the comparison between them is so meaningless. BA has never carried passengers from New York to "Europe" generally. It's always been primarily in the business of carrying passengers from New York to London, with occasional additions of some other UK cities. (If you stretch it to include the OpenSkies subsidiary, then there was a small and unsuccessful line in New York to Paris.)

 

About the only reliable thing that you can get from these particular numbers is that Norwegian has been growing. And for any observer of the airline industry over the last few years, that has been as meaningful as saying that two plus two equals four: we've all seen it, and we all know it.

 

And to get back to the bad journalism point: the (lack of) significance is demonstrated by where the story came from. Norwegian's PR department put it out, based on numbers that few people understand, and it got regurgitated. It would have been different if the story had originated in some credible and trustworthy independent analysis, and those authors had pointed to some real significance in them.

 

 

Maybe you need to revisit what's been happening here. Lufthansa (Group) and IAG were both interested in exploring Norwegian because it could have been a tasty purchase at the bargain basement valuation caused by its well-publicised financial troubles, which have led Norwegian to take the drastic measures it has (like major asset sales) this year - of which you are no doubt fully aware.

 

And Condor is not a Lufthansa Group airline.

 

Sorry, I am not convinced by your perspective that the Norwegian stats don't matter.  The number I cited is just one sign of many that the company is growing and becoming increasingly relevant in the transatlantic market.  I also disagree with your point that just because information is published by a company implies that it is not credible information.   Good companies protect their relationship both with customers and their investors.  Providing false or misleading information doesn't lend itself to protecting these relationships over the long haul.

 

I am also not swayed by your argument that Norwegian's potential asset sales suggest that the company is under such dress that failure is eminent.  You are also aware that Norwegian is in the middle  of renewing and in some cases upgaging their fleet with many aircraft on order.  They may have scaled back the near term growth rate, but having all the new aircraft on order from Airbus and Boeing give them latitude to manage their fleet and keep it fresh.  The fact remains that they will end the year with more aircraft than they started with.  This doesn't sound like a company its last legs which is why the Norwegian board rejected external takeover offers. 

 

I looked on Skytrax for their review of Norwegian and that of customers.  Skytrax gives them 4 stars and they get 6 out of 10 from customers.  Unfortunately a lot of their negative customer reviews are based in aircraft substitutions caused by problems with the Rolls Royce 787 engines.  Hopefully, Rolls Royce will get their act together and resolve these problems which has certainly been a drain on Norwegian both from reputation and financial perspective.

 

In the market, Norwegian's share price has held up better than Ryanair, Easyjet, IAG and Lufthansa over the last year. As such, it doesn't seem like the capital markets have closed to them and enough people believe in their story to keep it going.

 

As I said in my original post, Norwegian is putting pressure on the legacy transatlantic airlines in the US, Europe and the UK. Exclusive of the dispatch problems caused by Rolls Royce, customers generally like Norwegian's service and value proposition.  Investors have not deserted the company relative to other leading European and UK airlines.   With this in mind, I would have no problem booking a Norwegian flight for my next cruise.

 

BTW - thanks for the correction on Condor

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, SelectSys said:

I looked on Skytrax for their review of Norwegian and that of customers.

 

Really, if you think that that Skytrax reviews are any indication of the financial health or robustness of a company, I have a bridge to sell you! (I'd offer you that bridge if you think that Skytrax is even a reliable indicator of perceived service quality. In the industry, good Skytrax ratings for an airline are often regarded as a better indicator of the level of that airline's advertising spend with Skytrax.)

 

2 hours ago, SelectSys said:

I am also not swayed by your argument that Norwegian's potential asset sales suggest that the company is under such dress that failure is eminent.  You are also aware that Norwegian is in the middle  of renewing and in some cases upgaging their fleet with many aircraft on order.  They may have scaled back the near term growth rate, but having all the new aircraft on order from Airbus and Boeing give them latitude to manage their fleet and keep it fresh.  The fact remains that they will end the year with more aircraft than they started with.  This doesn't sound like a company its last legs which is why the Norwegian board rejected external takeover offers.

 

Last legs? No, not necessarily. I'm not an insider, I'm not a financial expert, and I'm not privy to how the company works. But you cannot deny that the years of quiet gossip about the precariousness of Norwegian's financial situation have now burst into the open, or that it has been engaged in asset sales to raise cash.

 

If you want to get away from stories planted by Norwegian's PR department, here are a couple of recent ones. The second one gives an insight into what Norwegian needs and wants: amongst other things, someone to take those shiny new aircraft off its hands, in exchange for ~$1bn in cash - not least because Norwegian (highly indebted and highly operationally-geared) is under-hedged in a season of rising oil/fuel prices.

 

Quote

Winter Is Coming For Low-Cost Airlines: Will Norwegian Survive?

Oct 24, 2018

It’s only October, and low-cost carriers are falling almost as fast as the leaves. Will winter bring an even deeper chill to the low-cost airline industry?

...

As costs such as fuel rise, O’Leary said “we think it’s certain” that additional low-cost airlines will inevitably drop off the radar. “There will be more and larger failures this winter."  He added, "Our focus will be on one of the two major Scandinavian airlines. We think one or the other of those are the most likely to fail this winter."

Which one? WOW is reportedly losing money and contemplating a possible merger with Icelandair. Norwegian Air Shuttle, with its low-cost long-haul model, is one of the most glamorous and talked-of start-ups. It is now the largest foreign airline at NY’s JFK. It is not, however, the most profitable. Skift says Norwegian is second from the bottom among the 74 airlines ranked in profitability, with a negative 8% operating profit margin.

...

 

Quote

Norwegian Air to update on fleet deal by year-end

LONDON, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Budget airline Norwegian Air , which is in talks with an unnamed partner on a fleet joint venture, plans to provide an update on the deal before the end of the year and has “many interested parties”, its chief financial officer said.


“The aim is to find a partner that can take a bit of equity. Norwegian doesn’t necessarily have to be a majority shareholder in that JV,” Geir Karlsen told reporters in London on Tuesday.


Shares in Norwegian surged last week after it confirmed that it was in advanced talks with an unnamed partner on a deal to create a new partnership to fund aircraft it has on order, a deal which would help free up cash.


...

 

The potential JV deal for up to 140 planes it has on order with Airbus and Boeing could help raise $960 million for Norwegian according to reports, with Karlsen saying that there were no guarantees but confirming he was optimistic.

 

...

 

His focus for now was on bringing down the cost per available seat on its planes despite rising fuel prices.

 

“We are struggling with high oil prices as many other players are. That’s hitting us, we are hedged today slightly above 20 percent for 2019. In hindsight we’d like to have been more hedged,” he said.

 

...

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Here's a new story (from yesterday) from Business Traveller:-

 

Norwegian plots further route cuts as airline braces for winter

Low-cost carrier Norwegian will make decisions “in the coming weeks” that may see changes to its winter schedule as it embarks on a cost-cutting push, its CFO said yesterday.

Geir Karlsen said the airline was evaluating its whole route programme, including short- and long-haul flights in the coming winter period – traditionally a challenging time for airlines.

Karlsen said Norwegian would be taking out routes that are not performing well enough, shifting capacity and taking out capacity.

...

In September the airline cancelled its Gatwick-Singapore route and all transatlantic services from Belfast and Edinburgh. It has instead been building up less competitive routes to and within South America.

...

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On 10/30/2018 at 4:03 PM, Globaliser said:

 

Really, if you think that that Skytrax reviews are any indication of the financial health or robustness of a company, I have a bridge to sell you! (I'd offer you that bridge if you think that Skytrax is even a reliable indicator of perceived service quality. In the industry, good Skytrax ratings for an airline are often regarded as a better indicator of the level of that airline's advertising spend with Skytrax.)

 

 

Last legs? No, not necessarily. I'm not an insider, I'm not a financial expert, and I'm not privy to how the company works. But you cannot deny that the years of quiet gossip about the precariousness of Norwegian's financial situation have now burst into the open, or that it has been engaged in asset sales to raise cash.

 

If you want to get away from stories planted by Norwegian's PR department, here are a couple of recent ones. The second one gives an insight into what Norwegian needs and wants: amongst other things, someone to take those shiny new aircraft off its hands, in exchange for ~$1bn in cash - not least because Norwegian (highly indebted and highly operationally-geared) is under-hedged in a season of rising oil/fuel prices.

 

 

 

I offered Skytrax customer rating as an indicator that the public is satisfied with the service and value they receive on the airline. If the reviews were bad, I would be more inclined to see this as a negative and that Norwegian is at near term risk.  Also, are you suggesting that Skytrax censors customer reviews based on some advertising spend?  You complain about Skytrax along with your typical disparaging remarks (i.e., bridge to sell)  without providing an alternate source suggesting a negative customer outlook on Norwegian.

 

I am not an financial expert with respect to airlines either.  However, it is hardly new news nor has it been quiet that Norwegian's model is viewed with suspicion by others in the industry.  Citing comments by Ryanair's Michael O'Leary suggesting his competitors are on the ropes isn't really all that compelling.  O'Leary has talked negatively about other airlines for years and anything he says simply reflects his own self interest  - I guess sort of like Norwegian's marketing department.  Also, we know he has been admonished by the courts for lying previously -

https://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0326/129233-ryanair/

 

Again, I view Norwegian's backlog as a potential asset valuable asset and hedge.  That just gives them even more time and the flexibility to gain better terms in the capital markets.  According to this article, Norwegian believes that might even make some money due to the popularity of their aircraft order types. https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-norwegian-air-fleet/norwegian-air-sees-possible-airbus-aircraft-sales-before-year-end-idUKKCN1LK1QA.  This all seems to suggest a savvy management team with an ability to navigate challenging times. 

 

As I said previously, I would not hesitate to book a ticket on Norwegian for a cruise. 

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48 minutes ago, Globaliser said:

Here's a new story (from yesterday) from Business Traveller:-

 

 

 

 Sounds like prudent business practice to me.  All airlines make changes for the off season.  I'll bet even BA changes schedules during the winter.  I know for a fact that AA does.

 

Still not an indicator that failure is eminent.  I also saw new service to Tampa launched yesterday:

https://www.bizjournals.com/tampabay/news/2018/10/31/norwegians-tampa-to-london-flight-takes-off-today.html

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21 minutes ago, SelectSys said:

All airlines make changes for the off season.

 

But not at a few weeks' notice - that is what the article is talking about. It is part of a pattern of recent short-notice withdrawals from entire routes.

 

Really, Norwegian is doing all these things as part of it fighting for its survival. It may well be ultimately successful, but you have to be wearing rose-tinted glasses to think that this is a fit, strapping and healthy operator whose march to domination is assured. You cannot do that on a -8% operating margin. That is not a question of other airlines viewing Norwegian's model with suspicion - that is an unviable business.

 

29 minutes ago, SelectSys said:

Also, are you suggesting that Skytrax censors customer reviews based on some advertising spend?

 

Either that (which is widely believed to the the case) and/or on the basis of some other arbitrary criteria. They certainly do censor reviews, and they do not publish them neutrally. They have been the subject of adverse findings by the advertising regulator in the UK for precisely this.

 

In any case, if an airline is selling its product to the public at prices well below the cost of production, it is hardly surprising that the public will rate the airline as excellent value for money.

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1 hour ago, SelectSys said:

 

I offered Skytrax customer rating as an indicator that the public is satisfied with the service and value they receive on the airline. If the reviews were bad, I would be more inclined to see this as a negative and that Norwegian is at near term risk.  Also, are you suggesting that Skytrax censors customer reviews based on some advertising spend?  You complain about Skytrax along with your typical disparaging remarks (i.e., bridge to sell)  without providing an alternate source suggesting a negative

customer outlook on Norwegian.

 

That's exactly what they do. A while back I submitted three reviews; one was uploaded as expected, a second was not at all and a third had a large proportion removed. 

 

Skytrax is seen as an industry joke. Airlines that have won awards have refused to recognize them in some cases for this reason, whilst others are somehow lauded despite being seen as bang average. Hainan Airlines, for example, a 5* carrier... 

 

The whole premise of the press release seems rather pointless. Yes, Norwegian carry more people to Europe from New York but then BA only carry passengers from NYC to London, DY spread that across 7 cities.

 

 

Edited by fbgd

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On 10/30/2018 at 4:56 PM, SelectSys said:

 

You are also aware that Norwegian is in the middle  of renewing and in some cases upgaging (sic )their fleet with many aircraft on order.  They may have scaled back the near term growth rate, but having all the new aircraft on order from Airbus and Boeing give them latitude to manage their fleet and keep it fresh.  The fact remains that they will end the year with more aircraft than they started with. 

 

 

Renewing what? Norwegian's longhaul arm is essentially brand new, there's nothing that's being renewed.

 

Ending the year with more aircraft than you start with proves nothing besides you have someone will to lend you money or lease you aircraft. There's a strong market for gently used 787s if they get taken back so it's not an enormous risk on the part of the bank/lessor.

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On 11/1/2018 at 12:47 PM, Globaliser said:

 

Really, Norwegian is doing all these things as part of it fighting for its survival. It may well be ultimately successful, but you have to be wearing rose-tinted glasses to think that this is a fit, strapping and healthy operator whose march to domination is assured. You cannot do that on a -8% operating margin. That is not a question of other airlines viewing Norwegian's model with suspicion - that is an unviable business.

 

 

I never claimed Norwegian is the world's most profitable airline, only that I would have no trouble booking a ticket on them for an upcoming cruise.  Why not save some money?  

 

For sure Norwegian is still on IAG's mind:

https://skift.com/2018/11/02/rebuffed-british-airways-parent-still-interested-in-buying-norwegian-air/

 

On 11/1/2018 at 1:35 PM, fbgd said:

 

That's exactly what they do. A while back I submitted three reviews; one was uploaded as expected, a second was not at all and a third had a large proportion removed. 

 

 

 

More fake news on the internet!  I must confess that your anecdotal experience with Skytrax is interesting to hear about. 

 

On 11/1/2018 at 1:44 PM, fbgd said:

 

Renewing what? Norwegian's longhaul arm is essentially brand new, there's nothing that's being renewed.

 

Ending the year with more aircraft than you start with proves nothing besides you have someone will to lend you money or lease you aircraft. There's a strong market for gently used 787s if they get taken back so it's not an enormous risk on the part of the bank/lessor.

 

I am generally referring to the A321LR's orders that will be taking place of some of the 737's for transatlantic service.  This is certainly a big upgrade in terms of aircraft capability.  

https://www.ch-aviation.com/portal/news/64172-norwegian-eyes-transatlantic-ops-with-a321lrs-in-2019

 

More aircraft in the fleet year over year indicates more capacity and growth.The fact that the capital markets aren't closed to the company is absolutely key for someone considering travel on Norwegian.  If the banks trust Norwegian to operate the aircraft over the next year or so, I am willing to fly them and keep a few $ in my pocket.  

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10 minutes ago, SelectSys said:

If the banks trust Norwegian to operate the aircraft over the next year or so ...

 

I think the thing that the banks trust is that their security is secure. You have presumably seen the aircraft parades when other airlines have gone bust? Always entertaining to see what happens to them, albeit the events themselves are always sad for the airline's staff.

 

12 minutes ago, SelectSys said:

I never claimed Norwegian is the world's most profitable airline, only that I would have no trouble booking a ticket on them for an upcoming cruise.  Why not save some money?  

 

Because they may go bust. That's the nub of the matter. Buying a ticket on Norwegian is not risk-free in this sense; if they did go bust, how much more will you have to pay to get to your cruise? That's the question that you need to address, the risk that you need to weigh, and the contingency against which you might want to plan.

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32 minutes ago, Globaliser said:

 

I think the thing that the banks trust is that their security is secure. You have presumably seen the aircraft parades when other airlines have gone bust? Always entertaining to see what happens to them, albeit the events themselves are always sad for the airline's staff.

 

 

Because they may go bust. That's the nub of the matter. Buying a ticket on Norwegian is not risk-free in this sense; if they did go bust, how much more will you have to pay to get to your cruise? That's the question that you need to address, the risk that you need to weigh, and the contingency against which you might want to plan.

 

Many businesses go bankrupt.  It is always sad for the employees and the creditors.  I personally have experienced unpaid receivables due to business failures.  Never a fun time for those involved.

 

You may feel different, but my own personal estimation is that Norwegian will still be flying through the end of next summer with its transatlantic service largely intact.  Norwegian still had $400 million+ on hand at the end of Q3,  their non fuel unit costs are down 10% and the stock is up 18% year to date.  Suppose in the worst case they get acquired.  IAG or someone else will honor the tickets.  A hard shutdown in 12 months just seems super unlikely to me.  For me, this seems like a manageable risk.

 

Edited by SelectSys

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21 minutes ago, SelectSys said:

You may feel different, but my own personal estimation is that Norwegian will still be flying through the end of next summer with its transatlantic service largely intact.  Norwegian still had $400 million+ on hand at the end of Q3,  their non fuel unit costs are down 10% and the stock is up 18% year to date.  Suppose in the worst case they get acquired. IAG or someone else will honor the tickets.

 

If someone buys Norwegian, then all will be well.

 

The worst-case scenario is actually that Norwegian simply goes bust. Like Monarch, Primera, Cobalt and others, it would probably happen with no or little warning. (There was a little warning of Monarch's demise, but that was because the mix of Monarch's business meant that its regulator had to charter in rescue capacity in advance, and in today's information-heavy world it was impossible to do that without us noticing.)

 

It is not so much I who feels differently from you, but many disinterested industry observers who have in the past few months been openly voicing things that have been being said privately for many months before that. They may be proved wrong, and the future may turn out to accord with your hope. But costs are fickle, and for a highly-geared company like Norwegian, that is where most of the risk comes from. It is only risk, not certainty - but the risk is there.

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5 hours ago, Globaliser said:

 

It is not so much I who feels differently from you, but many disinterested industry observers who have in the past few months been openly voicing things that have been being said privately for many months before that. They may be proved wrong, and the future may turn out to accord with your hope. But costs are fickle, and for a highly-geared company like Norwegian, that is where most of the risk comes from. It is only risk, not certainty - but the risk is there.

 

One thing that I have learned over my business career is that there are very few, if any, disinterested industry observers of note.  Sure, there are people like us opining for fun on web sites, but paid observers always have a commercial interest.  The bankers, activist investors, press, politicians and competitors all have direct commercial interest in talking up or down a company.  

 

One bit of good news on the cost front for all airlines is that oil prices are trending down from the previous forecasts:  https://oilprice.com/Energy/Crude-Oil/US-Oil-Production-Is-Set-To-Soar-Past-12-Million-Bpd.html

 

Edited by SelectSys

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4 hours ago, SelectSys said:

... but paid observers always have a commercial interest.  The bankers, activist investors, press, politicians and competitors all have direct commercial interest in talking up or down a company. 

 

Are you suggesting that these commentators are now publicly saying things that they do not believe to be accurate, in order to generate a public effect for their own commercial benefit? If so, why would they have been saying the same things privately for many months, in fora from which there would be no public effect from what they said? Does that not suggest that these are not things merely being said for the purposes of cynical manipulation?

 

In any event, these commentators have not only been saying these things about Norwegian. They have been saying the same things about other airlines, too. And so far, the tenor has been proved right: the current hostile costs climate is going to kill some of them, starting with those in the worst position to deal with it. Norwegian is merely one member of that group.

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