Europe's largest airline-group Lufthansa is considering a bid on Norwegian lowcost-pioneer Norwegian. CEO Carsten Spohr has confirmed his interest in Norwegian, saying the consolidation in Europe is not over yet and he expects to play a vital role with his group. A takeover is only considered after a price, strategic impact have been thought about and after antitrust approval has been granted.
Spohr is thinking off integrating Norwegian into his own LCC, Eurowings but because of the mixed fleets and different structures this will be a highly complicated task and Eurowings is currently very busy with integrating the remainders of Air Berlin into its own operation, which seems to be very complicated. A lot of flights have been canceled at Eurowings in the past months mainly because they don't have enough workers to fly their planes.
Norwegian is considered an interesting target because of its relatively low costs and modern fleet. Another major European carrier, IAG, has also submitted bids for the airline, of which both have been claimed to be too low by Norwegian, previously, IAG has acquired a stake of 4% in the carrier. Ryanair has also been linked to a possible acquisition of Norwegian, although both carriers have denied such an interest.
If a buyer for Norwegian is found, they have to struggle with the airline's huge debt of over 6.6 billion Euros after Norwegian's rapid expansion. The airline showed a 17%-increase in passenger numbers and plans to induct 25 new planes alone this year, adding to its already 140-planes strong fleet, all of which are Boeing 787 and 737NG and 737MAX.
Pictures by Codie McVie and Andrew Sieber.