OSLO Feb 16 Norwegian Air, Europe's
third-largest budget airline by passenger numbers, expects
Britain's vote to leave the European Union to hit demand from
some British customers, its CEO said on Thursday.
"England has received a punch after Brexit. So one must
expect that English retirees will have less money," Chief
Executive Officer Bjoern Kjos said in an interview on the
sidelines of a quarterly results presentation.
"So this will hit the traffic to Spain (from Britain)," he
Norwegian Air flies to and from London's Gatwick airport,
Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh and serves a number of
destinations in Spain.
It is also building up operations from Britain, which it
hopes to use as a base for its transatlantic flights.
The British pound has fallen sharply in value against major
currencies since the June 23 vote to leave the EU, eroding
Britons' purchasing power abroad.
In July, Norwegian Air had said it had not yet seen lower
bookings as a result of the Brexit vote, noting that most of its
passengers were holidaymakers, who had probably already made
summer bookings by the time of the referendum.
European short-haul carriers have struggled in recent months
with over-capacity and Britain's vote to leave the EU, with
low-cost airlines Wizz Air and easyJet both
trimming their annual profit forecasts in recent weeks.
Wizz Air said on Thursday however it will open a new British
base at London Luton.
(Writing by Gwladys Fouche; Editing by Adrian Croft)