Sunday, January 17, 2010

December 2009: 9 of 10 Norwegian Air flights delayed!!

Whereas Scandinavian Airlines managed Christmas traffic well, its competitor Norwegian Air Shuttle had a disastrous month. Only one out of ten flights departed or arrived on schedule at its worst, and problems have continued well into the new year.

The Norwegian budget air carrier has risen to become a major airline in the Norwegian flight market. Its performance has been equally good as that of its competitors, and the increased competition has resulted in lower overall air fare and non-stop flights to new, interesting destinations.

This changed in December when punctuality dropped to a catastrophic level. At its lowest only 9,7% of flights departed or arrived on schedule, and it is still struggling. Early January only 4 out of 10 flights were punctual.

Bad weather and no backup

Low temperatures and hazardous weather conditions has been the main reasons for Norwegian's demise. A unusually cold winter with much bad weather, has resulted in many delays. Unlike Scandinavian Airlines, that have two extra planes, to be used under these conditions, Norwegian Air Shuttle has no such backup.

Scandinavian Airlines has manage to maintain its punctuality, meaning that 85% of flights departed or arrived on schedule.

Delays in luggage handling

Another reason for Norwegian's delays is slow luggage handling. Røros Flyservice, the airline's handling company, has admitted that it has had insufficient personnel to handle luggage according to Norwegian's schedule.

Norwegian's bad performance may seriously affect the company's reputation. It may have some lessons to learn from Scandinavian Airline, its main competitor, that has managed the extreme condition with flying honours.

Related stories:

5 Scandinavian airlines among Europe's 9 most punctual

Air Baltic - fly free if flight is delayed

Is my flight on schedule?

  1. Norwegian B737, by Arpingstone
  2. Image of a snowstorm in Cleveland, Ohio, copyright Yvette Cendes, 2005)