In a recent interview on CNBC Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary attacked Norwegian Air using strong words. The Ryanair CEO claimed that Norwegian was a doomed airline. Then he cited a few examples of why he thinks so.
But, why such a strong outburst about a competitor?
Ryanair’s remarks, is it jealousy or a prediction likely to happen?
Ryanair is a low-cost airline competitor to Norwegian. Naturally, they must constantly go heads-on with the Norwegian “Viking-airline” for market share (in Europe). Norwegian Air is a threat to them. By the way, Ryanair does not serve the U.S.A. as Norwegian does.
Ryanair’s O’Leary’s comments
Here’s what O’Leary said about Norwegian in the CNBC interview:
“The airline business is tough enough, without starting out with six and a half billion in net debt. They are now resorting to selling the aircraft to raise fifty million bucks, which would not pay the fuel bill for a week. Norwegian is doomed. The business model doesn’t work and they are saddled down with an enormous debt. It’s just a matter of time before it goes bust.”
CEO choice of words
Do we smell a scent of jealousy from Ryanair? Or, is he correct in his prediction?
Airline CEO’s normally carry on mutually silent respect and dignity towards what they feel about other airlines. Openly broadcasting a prediction of doom and gloom about a competitor was an unusual move by an airline CEO.
Yes, Norwegian has been (and they still are) faced with financial challenges. Running an airline is tough. But Norwegian has already proven they can navigate financial challenges with innovative and effective solutions.
Why Norwegian will survive and do well
Norwegian’s competitors have often expressed less than flattering opinions about the airline.
Norwegian’s sustainable business model
It’s clear that the business philosophy of now-retired Bjørn Kjos is as alive today as it was during his reign.
Kjos’ “can do” former Norwegian Air Force fighter pilot attitude has proven Norwegian’s ability to problem-solving. Norwegian is constantly adjusting their business plan of action as needed to gradually lead the airline to a successful future.
Still faced with high debt, they have been able to solve tough financial challenges, continuously grow passenger counts, and providing customers with what they want.
“Public interest proves that we are doing something right. I know from my time as a fighter pilot in the Royal Norwegian Air Force that you need to know where you are going, not just how fast you are getting there. The future we have planned is exciting and sustainable, and one that will continue to benefit both our existing and new passengers above all else.”
Passengers love new, safe, reliable airplanes, flying at an affordable price worldwide with a great passenger reward program. Norwegian is a leader of that philosophy.
Update: Norwegian Air’s new CEO
November 21, 2019: Norwegian has just announced the name of its new CEO: Can New Norwegian Air CEO Jacob Schram Fly The Airline To Profit?
The future of Norwegian Air
Of course, as in any business, no one can predict the future with certainty. Norwegian’s current course and steps being taken to continue providing passengers with the best low-cost transatlantic service out there appears to work.
I do suspect the tough Viking-blood of Norwegian can weather any new storm coming up. however, only time can tell.
What do you think about the future of Norwegian Air?
As always, we welcome your comments and opinions! Please, leave your comments here.
Featured Image: Norwegian.