The total number of passengers flown in July was just under 1 050 000, an increase of approximately 150 000 passengers or 16 per cent compared to July 2008. July is thus the third consecutive month that Norwegian has witnessed record passenger numbers.
"The positive traffic development which we experienced during the first half of 2009 continues into the second half at full speed. Surpassing one million passengers during one single month is an important milestone for the company. It is particularly satisfying to see that more passengers choose to travel with Norwegian at a time when the industry in general is struggling. We will continue to work hard to merit such a strong vote of confidence from our passengers", says CEO Bjørn Kjos.
The previous record was set in June 2009. This month's figures outnumber the previous record by 70000 passengers. A large proportion of the growth in July stems from strong domestic growth in Norway and new routes in Denmark where we now have a total of 27 routes.
The month of July stands out as peak season for leisure travelers, and a significantly larger proportion of capacity is allocated to southern Europe compared to other months. From June to July the number of passengers increased by as much as 74 per cent on Norwegian's 80 routes to Southern Europe.
The routes to northern Norway also experience peak season during July. More than 130000 passengers traveled with Norwegian to or from this part of Norway during the period. The equivalent figure for northern Sweden was 55000 passengers.
The load factor for the Group was 88 per cent in July, a one percentage point increase from last year. Norwegian has established a strong position in Scandinavia which is reflected by the load factor in Sweden and Denmark of 91 and 92 per cent respectively.
The Group estimates a yield around NOK 0.59 for July 2009, compared to 0.57 for the same month in 2008.
In July 2009 the Group operated 99.9 per cent of its scheduled flights, of which 81 per cent departed on time. The summer months are characterized by slot restrictions in Europe, particularly around the Eastern part of the Mediterranean ocean, where Norwegian has a sizeable operation. This affects on-time performance.
Investor Relations Karl Peter Gombrii, tel +47 67 59 31 34