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  • Joe Breitfeller

Happy Birthday Norwegian! Carrier Celebrates 20 Years and Over 300 Million Passengers

Today, Norwegian Air Shuttle celebrated their 20th anniversary, carrying over 300 million customers over the last two decades. On September 1st, 2002, Norwegian’s inaugural Boeing 737 flight departed Oslo at 14:00 for Bergen.

Norwegian cabin crew members are wearing the same uniforms that were used in 2002. Here together with Norwegian CEO Geir Karlsen. – Courtesy Norwegian/Mynewsdesk

On Thursday (September 1, 2022), Norwegian Air Shuttle celebrated their 20th anniversary. The carrier launched on September 1st, 2002, with inaugural Boeing 737 service departing Oslo at 14:00 for Bergen. Over the last two decades, Norwegian has served over 300 million guests, including more than 60 million customers traveling to and from Sweden. Today, the airline has over 4,000 team members and operates an extensive network within the Nordic region and between the Nordics and the rest of Europe. In 2002, the airline operated four domestic routes in Norway, and this summer has flown 280 routes to 108 destinations. Norwegian also flies from Sweden to nearly 50 destinations.

In Thursday’s announcement, Norwegian’s CEO, Geir Karlsen, said,

“Norwegian's development over the past 20 years would not have been possible without the passengers and we have received a positive response from day one when we entered the market with a clear goal; everyone should be able to afford to fly. Not everyone liked the new competition, but since then the price of plane tickets has gone down and Norwegian has made it possible for a lot of people to be able to travel. So it is our passengers and employees that we can above all thank for the fact that Norwegian is a 20-year-old with a future ahead of itself.”

From left: Norwegian's founder Bjørn Kjos and CEO Geir Karlsen both attended the 20th anniversary celebration at Oslo Gardermoen Airport. – Courtesy Norwegian/Mynewsdesk

When Norwegian launched in 2002, the carrier had seven aircraft and around 300 employees. During their first full year of operation, the airline carried over 1.2 million passengers, compared to approximately 2.2 million passengers in July 2022 alone. Today’s milestone anniversary was celebrated at Oslo Gardermoen Airport, in connection with the anniversary flight to Bergen, exactly 20 years after Norwegian’s first flight. The event was attended by Norwegian’s founder Bjørn Kjos, Norway’s State Secretary from the Ministry of Infrastructure, Jacob Bjelland, Norwegian Airport Operator Avinor’s CEO, Abraham Foss, and other dignitaries.

All passengers on board the anniversary flight from Oslo to Bergen received a travel gift card. CEO Geir Karlsen talks to the passengers. – Courtesy Norwegian/Mynewsdesk

Norwegian Air Shuttle was founded in 1993, but began flying with Boeing 737 aircraft in 2002, offering smart and pleasant travel experiences at low prices. The airline has been voted ‘Europe’s Best Low-Cost Airline’ by Skytrax for the last six years. Norwegian’s loyalty program, Norwegian Rewards, has also been voted ‘The Airline Industry’s Best Loyalty Program in Europe/Africa’ at the Freddie Awards four years in a row. In 2019, Norwegian became the first airline to sign the UN Climate Action Programme, committing to becoming climate neutral by 2050. The carrier currently offers affordable flights on a short-haul network of destinations in the Nordic countries and to key European destinations.

Source: Norwegian Air Shuttle/Mynewsdesk

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