Norwegian Air carries 10 million passengers in 2009

flugvélDespite the economic downturn Norwegian Air has reported significant passenger growth for 2009 with an 18 percent rise from the previous year.

In just twelve months Norwegian established 63 new routes, with 30 new offerings in Denmark and a further 18 for Sweden and 15 for Norway, reports Norway News.

In December alone, the carrier flew 815,562 passengers across its services; an increase of 25 percent on December 2008, or 163,667 bookings in total. According to Norwegian’s Chief Executive Officer Bjorn Kjos, the figures are a clear indication of the changing preferences of passengers, who, he says, are increasingly attracted to his company.

Norwegian is set to be further bolstered with the addition of 70 Boeing 737-800 aircraft over the next five years, which will make the carrier one of Europe’s most environmentally friendly.

In another milestone, last month was the first time that the older Boeing 737-300s were outperformed in terms of distance travelled by the newer 737-800s. The newer planes feature greater legroom and create less noise than the older 300s—which will be phased out over the next few years, said Kjos.

Statistics show that the airline ran 99.4 percent of all flights to plan last month with the yearly on-time performance being 81 percent.