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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)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • ThePrince says:

    I applied for the IHG status match over 2 weeks ago and haven’t heard anything back yet. What is peoples experience of how long it takes?

    • @mkcol says:

      Just realised I’m in the same boat. It would be nice to hear if it’s a no at least.

    • Lee says:

      My account – applied 18th approved 27th to Spire from Marriott Titanium
      My OH – applied 26th approved today to spire from HH Diamond

      Hope that helps

  • Fred Argos says:

    IHG, the only loyalty program where loyal stayers are treated better of staying elsewhere..

    • Neil Donoghue says:

      Hahahahahaha! So true…..Love this

    • TGLoyalty says:

      Tbh apart from at IC’s where they treat their own members better I find Spire pretty good for recognition.

      Nicer rooms/upgrades always offered, lounge access if it’s a CP, couple free drinks (spire chit let’s you have a nice spirit or cocktail in some places). Late checkout is hit and miss but most hotels are good to spires who ask early enough.

      While free breakfast would be welcome I think it would be a big change for the programme as it’s real money out the door. I think they should improve the programme with effectively ‘free’ perks like guaranteed upgrade to best room inc suites if available and late 4pm checkout and the emphasis has to be on guaranteed

  • Prins Polo says:

    QR used to fly to Chiang Mai “direct” with a stop in Yangon.

    • the_real_a says:

      Which you could engineer nicely (Y CNX – RGN /separate tickets or via Air Asia / J RGN – Europe) as Yangon was saving a seriously large amount of avios and taxes back to Europe due to different zones…

  • Nori says:

    IHG status match. How long will the matched status last?

    • Kirsty says:

      I believe 90 days, and you have 90 days from Registration to complete a minimum number of qualifying stays (two for Gold, five for Platinum, etc) in order to retain your new status until 31 December 2020.

  • T says:

    I thought the US Ambassadors residence’s garden was 2nd biggest

    • Doug M says:


      • Dan says:

        Surely depends on how you define London too? I suspect that there must be some larger gardens as you move towards the zone 6,7, 8 suburbs?!

    • Toilet Paper Man says:

      The US Ambassador residence is a part of Regents Park and therefore owned by Royal Parks (and the Queen via that).

  • Harry T says:

    Has anyone successfully received a referral bonus for self referral from the Platinum Amex in the last month or so? I’m looking to refer myself for the BAPP from the Platinum but I’m worried AMEX may have tightened up their IT recently with all the changes to their products and bonuses.

    • Gringo says:

      Yes. Referred BA from Plat.

      • Jonathan says:

        Read latest comments. Seems they are clawing back referral points for self-referral in the US. Reports of people having 30-200k points removed.

  • youngtraveller says:

    In regards to IHG, When do we get to know if the status has been matched? I signed up pretty much the moment it was announced but haven’t heard since about it.

    • meta says:

      You won’t get any notification. It will just show on your account.

    • ankomonkey says:

      I got an e-mail about a week after my online account showed the upgrade.

    • Brian W says:

      No email for me but I was matched to Spire about 5 days after application.

  • WW says:

    Slightly off-topic (although IHG related) – I renewed my ambassador a few months ago and the offer included 10% points back on reward nights. Does that apply to just IC stays or would other hotels from the IHG group qualify too? I stayed in a fairly expensive HIX (40k per night) and wouldn’t mind getting some of my points back.

    • Whizz68 says:

      You should receive the 10% back on all points redemptions, not just IC stays.

    • Craig says:

      All stays although the number that post automatically is dire. Points should hit 6 weeks after the stay posts, not the date of the stay. If they don’t then ring IHG, usually instantaneous at that point.

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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