Norwegian Air Jumps After Boosting Capacity for Summer Travel

(Bloomberg) -- Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA jumped after an easing of travel restrictions allowed it to reopen dozens of European routes.

Norwegian rose as much as 18% in early trading, the most in three weeks, after saying it would restart 76 routes from July 1.

The low-cost carrier’s plans, which follow moves from other airlines to boost capacity for the summer season, contrast with the company’s earlier expectation that it would maintain operations at a minimum until the second quarter of next year. Norwegian said last week it was considering increasing capacity.

“Feedback from our customers has shown that they are keen to get back in the air and resume their travels with Norwegian beyond the current domestic services that we have been operating,” Chief Executive Officer Jacob Schram said in a statement. “Norwegian is returning to European skies with the reintroduction of more aircraft to serve our key destinations which will ensure that we remain in line with competing carriers.”

Norwegian converted debt to equity and sold new shares last month in order to get access to government loan guarantees in its home market, saving it from collapse after the Covid-19 crisis destroyed demand for air travel.

The stock was up 16% at 3.49 kroner a share as of 10:04 a.m in Oslo.

The airline is currently only flying 13 domestic flights operated by eight aircraft. Norwegian will increase capacity to 20 planes, adding routes to European cities including London, Paris and Barcelona. It’s also bringing back about 600 pilots and cabin crew from furlough.

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