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Founder and CEO of airline Norwegian resigns – what happens now?

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Bjorn Kjos, the founder and major shareholder in Norwegian, stood down as CEO yesterday after 17 years.  He is being replaced on an interim basis by the CFO, Geir Karlson.

There is an interesting barb directed at Kjos in the final line of the statement issued:

“Bjorn has played an unprecedented role in Norwegian’s success. His vision of offering affordable fares for all, combined with his enthusiasm and innovating spirit, has revolutionized the way people travel for pleasure and for business, not least between the continents. Bjorn is definitely one of the most influential European entrepreneurs of our time.”

Norwegian CEO resigns

“We have to ensure that Norwegian is well prepared and positioned to handle volatile markets and unexpected events. It is crucial that we continue to deliver on our cost reduction initiatives and that we constantly ensure that we have a route portfolio that yields profit. It is also important that the new CEO develops an organization that embraces continued improvement and operational excellence.”

Norwegian was given a financial lifeline back in January when Norwegian shipping tycoon John Fredriksen (who, fact fans, owns the house with the biggest private garden in London after the Queen – it is just off Kings Road) backed a NOK 3 billion rights issue.

Fredriksen did not do this out of charity, however.  We have seen Norwegian taking a more aggressive approach to its network, including cancelling the London Gatwick to Las Vegas service and asking cabin crew to take unpaid leave.  His hand is also likely to be behind the departure of Kjos.  With the low-yield Winter season getting closer, the airline needs to make sure it is well prepared.

Comments (161)

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    • ankomonkey says:

      I have a BA flight into LHR on 6/8. Looks like I probably won’t be flying and if I am I will have to collect my case from under the plane myself.

      • Shoestring says:

        A Heathrow spokeswoman said:…”we will be implementing contingency plans that will ensure the airport remains open and operating safely throughout any coordinated action.
        “We will be working alongside our airline partners to minimise disruption caused to passengers as they look towards their well-deserved summer holidays.”

    • Radiata says:

      The wonder is that AmEx did not act earlier..

    • RussellH says:

      Reading that article seems to imply that MR points subject to federal taxes – the reference to IRS forms 1099 being sent out.

      • Rob says:

        A lot of bank-issued points in the US create a tax charge. The best bit is that the bank decides what they are worth, which is usually more than you think they are worth, which means you need to open a dispute with the IRS over their valuation. Not a problem we have over here.

    • Harry T says:

      The last loopholes are closing fast.

      • Shoestring says:

        doesn’t apply to the UK for now – plenty of stuff got shut off in the US already that doesn’t impact UK operation

        • Rob says:

          This one seems very likely to be coming your way though.

          • Shoestring says:

            I moved most of my MR points over to BAEC a couple of hours ago lol

            I don’t save them for hotels etc so no big deal to move them out of the way

          • Doug M says:

            Stopping self referrals fair enough. Clawing back MR after you’ve paid fees and directed spend on the basis of getting those points might make for interesting times.

          • Sussex Bantam says:

            I suspect AMEX might be seeing some large transfers to BAEC over the next few days….

          • TGLoyalty says:

            Quite possible it’ll happen here very soon. I’ve just made a transfer to Marriott. Though does make me think that it will just mean you would be better referring from a BA or SPG card as the points are yours after a month or so.

      • BJ says:

        Oh, I don’t know about that 🙂

        • memesweeper says:

          *what* loopholes BJ?

          • BJ says:

            There are always some new ones come around so I prefer to be more optimistic. For the moment the Lloyd’s avios magic roundabout is working fine.

  • Jonny says:

    OT: Just had notification from BA of cancellation of our honeymoon return flight from SEY-LHR in Jan. Guessing due to 787 engine issues. Flights were booked using Avios and CV. Any ideas what options you tend to get if any when speaking to CS? TIA

    • Rob says:

      Best guess would be Comair to Jo’burg, if the dates work with the Comair services.

      • pauldb says:

        Mixing it up with MRU perhaps?

        BA’s preference will probably be to push you back to the next flight they are running. Would a couple more days suit? Plenty more islands to visit! They should provide you accommodation though their usual £200 won’t get you anything too fancy.

        If you have the flexibility, you could perhaps shift both flights to keep your holiday the same length.

    • Shoestring says:

      You could do a bit of research on alternative flights which will potentially help your position. You can then hear what CS have to suggest then come in: ‘how about if we were to go for this flight instead?’ Tbh, I’ve only ever heard that BA CS want to be helpful in this situation & I’m sure if you mention the honeymoon return it’ll get even more helpful! Ie you could see if there are any Oneworld alternative flights or combinations that work better than what you can assume might be a worse case scenario if you were to be re-ticketed on BA (eg next day or even worse 1 day early).

    • meta says:

      Qatar Airways via Doha too. And then Doha to London on BA or Qatar.

  • s879 says:

    OT: My BA flight time has changed by 10 minutes. Can I completely change my flight date or is there a minimum time that it needs to change by? I was thinking of changing the flight date anyway but the change fee was bothering me as we are a family of 4. I booked using BA miles (2 for 1) and also Avios upgrade voucher for other two tickets.

    • Shoestring says:

      Probably not but you can still ask. I know for a fact that Iberia *does* let you cancel for a refund or change your date when there’s a 10 mins change.

      But from memory, BA don’t see under 60 mins schedule change as significant enough.

    • Kai says:

      Just saw this on Flyertalk a couple of days ago. Think BA wants 2 hours for short hauls and 5 hours for long hauls – horrendous!

    • xcalx says:

      Depends on the agent. I have had success cancelling with a full refund on an 8 min time change and no look with a 1 hour 10 min change. No idea what the official time is.

  • Harry T says:

    @Rob or other experts
    Am I more likely I be approved for the BAPP if I go via the special BA email link for the 30k sign up bonus offer or via a referral link? My thinking is it won’t make any difference but wondered if anyone knows better. Thanks in anticipation.

  • Chrisasaurus says:

    OT – Anyone know ho long Marriott – AA transfers take to go through?

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