Norwegian has announced its results for the third quarter of 2022, which have been boosted by the ‘pick up’ of business travel.

The airline carried 6.1 million passengers in the third quarter, up from 2.5 million in the same period last year and an increase on the 5 million in the second quarter of 2022.

Norwegian said that it made an operating profit of NOK 1,032 million (£87 million) in the third quarter of the year, with business travel back to 2019 levels on the most popular domestic routes in Norway

Nonetheless, the airline will reduce capacity by approximately 25 per cent over the winter months, though it has plans to operate 85 aircraft for summer 2023 – 16 more than its current fleet.

Geir Karlsen, CEO of Norwegian, commented:

“This quarter has demonstrated that we are the reliable Nordic option for customers travelling on their holidays, to visit friends and family, or for business purposes. Many corporate customers choose to fly with Norwegian, and the number of business travellers is now on par with pre-pandemic levels for our most popular domestic business routes.

“Demand is expected to soften as we enter the winter trading period, but Norwegian is well prepared for this through flexible fleet arrangements, rigorous route planning and sound collaboration with our colleagues and unions.”

“While demand for air travel may be impacted by the current macro-economic and geopolitical uncertainty, booking trends remain encouraging with an increasing number of passengers choosing to fly with Norwegian.”

Norwegian abandoned its long-haul services in 2021 as part of a business restructure, and now focuses on a short-haul route network.

The airline finalised its cooperation agreement with Scandinavian regional airline Wideroe last month, which will allow passengers to travel across the entire route network of both airlines.