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A Norwegian aircraft at Malaga Airport. Salvador Salas
Norwegian airline bases another aircraft at Malaga Airport and adds more new routes

Norwegian airline bases another aircraft at Malaga Airport and adds more new routes

The number of pilots and cabin crew members based on the Costa del Sol during this peak season has also been increased. "We want to have the best summer ever in our history," company CEO Geir Karlsen told SUR

Pilar Martínez

Malaga

Friday, 21 April 2023, 15:14

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Norwegian, the fourth-placed airline in terms of passenger volume at Malaga Airport, has reinforced its commitment to the Costa del Sol, which it considers to be - by far - its most important destination in Spain.

Geir Karlsen, CEO of the airline, has told SUR of the company’s plans for summer and revealed the number of aircraft based at the airport will go from two to three and new routes to the Costa del Sol will be added.

Geir Karlsen, on Wednesday during his visit to Malaga.
Geir Karlsen, on Wednesday during his visit to Malaga. Ñito Salas

Specifically, this peak season another three Norwegain airline connections will be added to the ten to which Malaga Airport has already been servicing: Haugesund, considered a cultural centre in southwestern Norway; Växjö, in southeastern Sweden, and Stockholm-Skavasta, which is the airport south of Stockholm. "So now we will link Malaga with the two airports in the city," he pointed out to emphasise that "the Nordic market is back."

Karlsen recollects that Norwegian has improved a lot since the crisis it went through that coincided with the pandemic. “Now it is a different company. Two years ago we had 50 aircraft and currently we expect to close the year with 82 and reach 90 in 2024”, he added. In addition, he hopes that by next summer year they will have up to four planes based in Malaga.

“During the past year we have concentrated our activity in Spain, which is the main foreign market for the Nordics, on the Costa del Sol and in Alicante. But the difference between the two is huge. If we look at the last twelve months, Malaga has taken 100,000 more passengers than the Alicante airport.

Four million seat

In Spain this high season we are going to offer four million seats, of which 1.39 million are to or from Malaga", he told SUR.

"Tourists come here for the good weather, food and all the activities that can be enjoyed,” Karlsen said while looking at the light and the sun that continues to shine at six in the evening and not believing the summer-like temperature this week.

With the three new routes announced, the Costa del Sol will receive travellers from thirteen Nordic destinations and the people of Malaga will be able to plan for their holiday breaks to Aalborg and Copenhagen, in Denmark; Bergen, Haugesund, Oslo-Gardermoen, Oslo-Sandefjord/Torp, Stavanger and Trondheim, in Norway; Stockholm-Arlanda, Gothenburg-Landvetter, Stockholm-Skavsta and Växjö Småland, in Sweden; as well as the Finnish capital Helsinki.

25% cheaper

Geir Karlsen encouraged people to visit these destinations. He assured that "now it is the best time to get to know Norway" and justified it by saying that for those who go from the euro zone now it is 25% cheaper because the Norwegian krone has been weakening due to the crisis in Ukraine.

Karlsen also highlighted the strength of the demand. “The booking reservations are going very well. After Covid we operated with a single plane in Malaga, to go to two in 2022 and this summer to three, hoping to base four here next year. Malaga is an all-year round destination”, he declared and acknowledged that “after the health crisis we expected a downturn and it has not happened. Spain is the preferred country. Then with the rise in the price of tickets, due to the increase in inflation and the high cost of fuel, it was logical to expect less travel, but this has not happened either," he said. The data speaks for itself. In the last twelve months the airline has handled 989,000 passengers at the Costa del Sol airport, some 107% more than in the previous year.

To attend to this upturn in passengers, Karlsen confirmed that the number of pilot and crew members based in Malaga for this high season has also been increased, going from 116 to 154. "We want to have the best summer ever in our history," said Geir Karlsen.

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