New management team for Norwegian

Budget airline Norwegian has revealed a new management team, with the appointment of a new chief financial officer to help fuel “ambitious growth plans”, according to City A.M.

The new senior structure is said to be a response to rising competition in the sector. Geir Karlsen is set to join Norwegian from London-based shipping firm Navig8 Group. The current chief financial officer is to change roles, becoming executive vice president of strategic development.

In 2017, Norwegian gained a number of new routes and flights, including 28 weekly slots at London Gatwick. The airline flew 5.8m passengers from the UK and Ireland last year, up more than 25% on 2016. 15 new routes were launched, including long-haul routes and its first link with South America.

The airline’s chief executive Bjorn Kjos said of Karlsen: “A major part of his professional experience clearly resembles the airline industry, where lease agreements and financing of major transactions are key to succeed. At the same time, he has extensive management experience from major international companies that is very important to enable Norwegian’s global growth.”

Competition is particularly fierce in the aviation industry at present. Last year Monarch and Air Berlin went into administration. Norwegian is seeking to expand its market position in order to lead in long-haul low-cost flights.