– It is a prerequisite for me is that the one that goes out and buys Norwegian must be good for all my employees and all of our travelers. The company may not go to someone who is poor. It is important for me, " says Bjørn Kjos in a TT interview.
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not only is the Norwegian's ceo, but also one of the founders and storägarna in the airline. Together with his older brother Tore Kjos and Norwegian's chairman of the board, Bjørn Kise, he owns through the holding company HBK Invest more than a quarter of the airline.
"I'm just one of the owners, and if the other owners want to sell the Norwegian I am not the one who says no, never in the world," says Bjørn Kjos.
Kjos confirms that multiple legitimate stakeholders have been in contact with the Norwegian to discuss a deal at the side of the British Airways-owner IAG, which earlier this year declared that it no longer wants to buy the company. This type of call has, however, been put on hold since the Norwegian at the end of January, and asked for capital injections from the owners of three billion Norwegian kroner in a guaranteed rights issue.
All of these things need to be parked, then we'll see. We do what is best for customers and what is best for the shareholders, " says Kjos.
depends, inter alia, together with the high costs as a result of problems with the Dreamliner-the aircraft's Rolls Royce engines and a felsatsning in the Norwegian's attempt to secure reasonable fuel prices.
– We had not been so far from making profits, if we had not hedged the price of oil and we had not had the motorproblemen, " says Kjos.
In a compensatory agreements, the details of which are secret, Rolls Royce promised extra back-up aircraft in 2019. Kjos expects that this will contribute to lifting the Norwegian's results.
at the same time, Kjos a significantly smaller risk that the price of oil will haunt again after last year's accounting of whack at around two billion as a result of price hedging at a price level that would prove to be too high.
the Norwegian's position as a ”financial meltdown”. The Wall Street Journal has analyzed the risk of bankruptcy and the ceo of rival Ryanair, Michael O'leary, has been given the opportunity to repeat his domedagsprofetia that the Norwegian will go under.
Kjos dismisses this:
" So has he said in 18 years I think, or 16 in all cases.
According to the Norwegianchefen the company has now reached an appropriate size, and set our sights on 2019, going plus.
– 2019, we have said that we will be profitable, " he says.
– Now we have the production volume we wish, and we have the scale we want, so now it's full concentration on getting there we keep on with the profitable. The routes which are not profitable, we should leave, " he adds.
and rapid expansion, however, has blown up in debt to 32 billion and the company's so-called equity ratio is approaching according to several analysts the floor in the airline's agreements with the lenders.
" We don't want to be on such levels. It is why we now go out and collect new tax year, " says Kjos.
" No, we are not in the vicinity of it.
– Yes, you can be sure.
in Order to strengthen the group's profitability has Norwegian started to sell aircraft and launched ”Focus '2019', a programme that will pull down costs by two billion Norwegian kroner. Contracts with subcontractors shall, inter alia, are negotiated. It also refers to hive off large parts of the fleet into a separate company.
But lågprisprofilen the company will not abandon.
"No, we have substantially lower costs than SAS," says Kjos, and promises continued price pressure.
But no ambition to beat out the SAS, he has not.
– There will always be room for both, if you ask me. And we have it very good at the side of the SAS here in Scandinavia and I much prefer the SAS as a competitor than many others.