Aviation News

Norwegian to acquire Norway’s Widerøe

Low-cost carrier Norwegian has announced that it will acquire Norway’s major regional carrier, Widerøe Airlines. Norwegian has entered into an agreement with WF Holding AS for the same.

Norwegian says that the two airlines have a very limited overlap on routes and complement each other well. Out of 107 routes operated in Norway, 85 are operated by Widerøe and 22 by Norwegian, and only five of these overlap. Widerøe covers more than 40 small and medium-sized airports across Norway, in addition to a few larger airports in Europe, while Norwegian offers more than 300 routes to 114 destinations in the Nordics and in Europe.

This is a milestone in Norwegian aviation history. Our two airlines have existed side by side for many years and no one knows the aviation market in Norway better. With this transaction, we will now create a streamlined and more comprehensive offer for all customers, and we look forward to offering seamless travel across our entire route networks.

said Geir Karlsen, CEO, Norwegian.

Widerøe is Norway’s oldest aviation group. The airline is headquartered in Bodø and has administrative offices in Oslo. Widerøe has a fleet of close to 50 aircraft and holds a market share of approximately 20% in the Norwegian domestic market, measured by the number of passengers.

The agreement will secure an even better customer offering for passengers in Norway. It will facilitate more efficient operations that lay the foundation for a strong Norwegian aviation industry with local employment and sound working conditions. This will open new opportunities for collaboration with the travel industry in Norway to promote tourism across the country. We will make sure that all passengers benefit from our extensive offering, including our attractive Norwegian Reward loyalty programme.

Karlsen added.

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Both companies will continue to have bases and headquarters in Norway as today. Employees will remain in their existing companies under existing collective agreements. Widerøe will uphold its existing agreements with other airlines.

Widerøe has a close to 90-year history, and we are the guarantor of a well-functioning route network in regional Norway. Although we have a solid footprint in Norway, we are smaller in an international context. The tax level for air travel in Norway is particularly high, and this, in combination with fierce international competition, makes it difficult for a smaller regional airline to persevere without a strong partner. We are therefore very happy to now join forces with Norwegian, and we are excited to get an industrial owner that aspires to develop both companies further. We are convinced that this solution is in the best interest of Widerøe, our employees, and not the least our customers.

said Stein Nilsen, CEO, Widerøe.

Norwegian will acquire Widerøe for a cash consideration of NOK 1,125 million. The purchase price is subject to certain adjustments after closing, including in respect to the profitability of Widerøe in 2023.

Featured image by Norwegian

What do you think of Norwegian acquiring Widerøe? Do you think it will harm the competition scene of Norway’s aviation market? Let me know in the comments section below.

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