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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.

  • DaveL says:

    OT – anyone know if the 90,000 point annual referral limit resets if you get the card for a second time or if it’s linked to MR acc? Cancelled last platinum in jan after making a couple of referrals and got it again recently, so wondering what my available refs are.. thanks

  • HayMow says:

    I applied 30 June, thanks to the previous article, but haven’t heard anything yet. Anyone else have this experience? Maybe it’s as I’m ‘only’ Hilton Gold and higher statuses are being dealt with first?

  • rob says:

    OT – Can anyone help.

    I’m trying to book 4 direct single flights from Hanoi to Da nang with Vietnam airlines. I used google flights and got a few results but the websites are all in vietnamese. I managed to get translated into English but when I came to pay I was given some phantom price that in no way showed why some substantial extra charge was being added.

    Need some advice here if anyone has any.


    • Roger C says:

      Are you sure you’re actually on the official Vietnam Airlines website? There are some crafty lookalikes out there which are basically just travel agencies masquerading as the airline. When I attempted to book a series of flights last year I nearly fell into this trap. Make sure you can log in – I assume you’ll be wanting to collect the points in any case.

      I’ve just done a search – entirely in English – on the official site. While baggage can be an issue with prices it all looks OK here.

    • Craig says:

      Try the app?

    • AndyGWP says:

      I used American Express travel to book my Vietnam Airlines internal flights. They were same price as going direct / via. Google Flights BUT included luggage allowance (thanks for whoever tipped me off indirectly about that before). Recommend that it’s worth a look!

      (… it worked even better with the Amex Travel offer on my Gold Card at the time)

      • AndyGWP says:

        Actually. I might be thinking of another airline – Vietnam Airlines appears to give a free luggage allowance anyways. Amex Travel worked out better for one of the airlines I booked, I’m sure of it 🤔

    • Craig says:

      I know things are about to change to item baggage limits, but currently do Vietnam Airlines allow baggage pooling? I have a flight from Singapore to Hanoi with 30Kg each, so would this allow 3 x 20Kg bags between 2 of us? Ta.

    • Polly says:

      We pulled all our Vietnam flights up on skyscanner which brought to us directly to Vietnam airways…can’t remember how the luggage pinned out, as we just had 20 kegs pp.

      That’s a good tip about using amex travel, didn’t even think to look there!

    • Daniel says:

      If you use the official Vietnam Airlines website you might find they have fares which are not available to travel agents (Amex etc).

      I’ve flown this route and paid about £120 for a flexible business class ticket, one way. This fare was not available elsewhere at this price. Worth it for the lounge access and luggage allowance alone, as Sky Team is not an alliance I maintain status with anymore.

  • nick says:

    Do Spar in London sell gift cards? if so which ones?

    I have a 10% offer on my santander cards..

    • Mark2 says:

      I think that you will find that they are locally owned so will vary.
      Spar is a buying group ISTR

    • Bonglim says:

      I had/have 10% Morrison’s, and so far have had 2000 pounds John Lewis and 200 amazon vouchers!

      • Bonglim says:

        I tried with 25% funky pigeon a while ago and they (funky pigeon) cancelled the order.

  • Liam says:

    OT I received an email last night from BAEC offering 30000 Avios on the Amex card rather than the usual 25k.
    Here is one of the terms :
    Offer available to new Cardmembers only. Introductory offers are not available if you currently hold of have held any personal British Airways American Express Card product in the past 24 months. Apply before midnight on 28 July 2019 and 30,000 bonus Avios will be awarded onto your Account once you have been approved and you have spent a minimum of £3,000 on goods and services to the Account within three months of Account opening. Please note this offer is subject to change, this is not an offer to upgrade and it can take up to four weeks for bonus Avios to be awarded to your Account.

    I thought that you couldn’t get the bonus if you had any MR earning card eg gold rewards credit card.

    Have I misunderstood something?

    • Shoestring says:

      we’re talking about the BAPP here, so:
      [You can get the British Airways Premium Plus sign-up bonus of 25,000 Avios if:
      You have not had a British Airways or British Airways Premium Plus card in the previous 24 months (Preferred Rewards Gold, The Platinum Card, Green, American Express Rewards, Starwood, Nectar, Platinum Cashyback are OK)]

      but as you say, the new promo is 30K Avios

      • Lee says:

        Also had an email for free BA card offering 10k bonus

      • Liam says:

        I’ve obviously not read previous articles clearly.
        What about the SPG card? Can you get the bonus on that if you have a rewards Amex card?

        • Shoestring says:

          [Have you had ANY personal American Express card (excluding MBNA and Lloyds Bank cards) in the previous 24 months?

          If ‘no’:

          You can apply for any personal American Express card and receive the full advertised bonus. This article outlines my recommended application strategy to maximise your bonuses.

          If ‘yes’:

          You CANNOT get a sign-up bonus on the following cards:

          Platinum Cashyback
          Platinum Cashyback Everyday
          British Airways American Express (free card)
          Preferred Rewards Gold
          Starwood Preferred Guest
          American Express Rewards (all three variants)]

    • Anna says:

      Oh dear, are they wondering where all their customers have gone?!

      • BJ says:

        My thoughts to, it will bdhilsriousif they have shot themselves in gbdfoot and have to backtrack on some of their recent efforts, ir launch something even better. Thespebding bonuses may even have been prompted by lower than expected spending as opposed to a new strategy to encourage and reward loyalty.

      • Freddy says:

        I got the basic BA card offer of 10k rather than the 5k – think they must have seen a sharp drop in cardholders/applications….surprise eh

    • Will says:

      Was this a targeted offer or does everyone get the 30k bonus?
      I was just to apply.

  • Lee says:

    OT – email from PRIORITY PASS confirmed the change.
    From August 1, 2019 access to non-lounge airport experiences will be removed from your membership program. You will continue to have access to over 1200 lounges in more than 500 cities across 143 countries.

    • marcw says:

      You can still swipe your non-lounge experience, but if the restaurant is not on the list, you will be charged 🙂

    • Jonathan says:

      I think they missed a word in there… “You will continue to POTENTIALLY have access to over 1200…”

  • Lady London says:

    So the Norwegian news looks like another ‘Founder forced off Board of company he founded, by financier(s)’ situation

    • Shoestring says:

      he was down to 17% holding

      • Rob says:

        That’s rather like saying that someone in negative equity ‘owns’ their house. In reality you’re just looking after it for the bank.

  • paulm says:

    OT – is there a way to check availability on-line for using Virgin miles on Air New Zealand (US to NZ) ?

    • DaveL says: should show redemption availability for ANZ. If it’s available, you can call Virgin to book.

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

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