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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Oslo Bors  >  Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA    NAS   NO0010196140

NORWEGIAN AIR SHUTTLE ASA

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Wizz Air boss blasts slot waiver limiting Gatwick access

11/24/2020 | 06:25am EST
FILE PHOTO: Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Luton

PARIS (Reuters) - Low-cost carrier Wizz Air is seeking a bigger foothold at London Gatwick, but its ambitions may be hampered if regulators extend a freeze on airport slots in response to the coronavirus crisis, Chief Executive Jozsef Varadi said.

In an interview aired during the online Paris Air Forum on Tuesday, Varadi criticised the suspension of EU rules governing the competitive allocation of airport take-off and landing rights.

"It is one of the airports we're talking to, but I have no idea what's going to happen to these slots," Varadi said of Gatwick, the UK's second aviation hub after Heathrow. "First I would like to see the regulator take position on that."

Well-funded budget carriers are in positioned to dominate an eventual recovery powered by medium-haul leisure travel. Like his Ryanair rival Michael O'Leary, Varadi expects a fare-cutting frenzy.

"The market will have to be re-stimulated," he said. "There's going to be a lot of competition, there's going to be price wars."

Under normal slot rules, airlines that fail to use 80% of their take-off and landing rights have to cede some of the slots to competitors.

Brussels suspended the "use-it-or-lose-it" principle this year so that grounded airlines could keep slots. The waiver has been prolonged once despite Wizz's objections, and traditional carriers are pressing for another extension beyond March.

"If airlines lose their slots the global network will crumble," IATA, which represents major airlines, said in a presentation on Monday. "Airlines are in no state to be operating 80% of slots right now."

Whether Britain must abide by any EU decision on a further waiver extension could depend on the outcome of talks on a post-Brexit aviation deal, adding more complexity.

"We can keep deferring to COVID-19 forever, but the fact of the matter is that there are airlines who are capable and able to recover quickly," Varadi said.

"And there are airlines that will be dragging for a long time or may never come out of this," he added. "It's almost criminal to hold the slots they don't have any intention to operate."

Norwegian Air has filed for bankruptcy protection in Ireland, deepening doubts over its suspended Gatwick operations. British Airways and Virgin Atlantic may not return to the airport at pre-crisis strength.

Varadi's push to open up slots is gaining some support. Ryanair, which backed the last waiver extension, now opposes further prolongation, CEO O'Leary said this month. Gatwick boss Stewart Wingate also called https://www.ft.com/content/8d9bf01f-f31b-4d41-94a1-25305df04794 for a return to normal rules.

Since the start of the pandemic, Wizz has continued taking plane deliveries while announcing new routes and aircraft bases. Varadi warns that airports will need to cut their own costs to attract more traffic.

"We're seeing many more opportunities than we can pursue - we have become very selective," he said in the interview. "Many of the airports are pretty much begging for the capacity we can bring to them."

(Reporting by Laurence Frost; Additional reporting by Tim Hepher and Sarah Young; Editing by Pravin Char)

By Laurence Frost


© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
EURO / BRITISH POUND (EUR/GBP) -0.02% 0.88934 Delayed Quote.-0.82%
INTERNATIONAL CONSOLIDATED AIRLINES GROUP, S.A. -3.41% 151.6 Delayed Quote.-5.13%
NORWEGIAN AIR SHUTTLE ASA -1.47% 67 Real-time Quote.-22.94%
RYANAIR HOLDINGS PLC -2.37% 14.845 Real-time Quote.-8.67%
WIZZ AIR HOLDINGS PLC -2.15% 4278 Delayed Quote.-6.27%
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Financials
Sales 2020 9 275 M 1 092 M 1 092 M
Net income 2020 -7 334 M -864 M -864 M
Net Debt 2020 52 756 M 6 212 M 6 212 M
P/E ratio 2020 -0,25x
Yield 2020 -
Capitalization 2 663 M 314 M 314 M
EV / Sales 2020 5,98x
EV / Sales 2021 3,47x
Nbr of Employees 9 389
Free-Float 66,6%
Chart NORWEGIAN AIR SHUTTLE ASA
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Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA Technical Analysis Chart | NAS | NO0010196140 | MarketScreener
Technical analysis trends NORWEGIAN AIR SHUTTLE ASA
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TrendsNeutralNeutralBearish
Income Statement Evolution
Consensus
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Mean consensus UNDERPERFORM
Number of Analysts 5
Average target price 27,50 NOK
Last Close Price 67,00 NOK
Spread / Highest target -17,9%
Spread / Average Target -59,0%
Spread / Lowest Target -100%
EPS Revisions
Managers and Directors
NameTitle
Jacob Schram Chief Executive Officer
Niels Smedegaard Chairman
Johan Gauermann Executive Vice President-Operations
Geir Magne Karlsen Chief Financial Officer & Deputy CEO
Kurt Simonsen Chief Information Officer
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