Norwegian will become the airline which Aena would have been looking for since some time ago. They are supposed to help Aena in fighting the Ryanair and easyJet duopoly on the Madrid airport low cost industry. Hence, they are finishing the negotiations to open two operational bases at Madrid and Barcelona.
According to this piece of news, it is in Madrid more than in Barcelona, where easyJet and, above all, Ryanair use their capacity to break the will of the Spanish Government.
The different interests of the biggest low cost airlines with regard to the Aena’s transformation process are even more obvious at Madrid airport, which development is essential to fix the value for the airport net before its privatisation.
The big investments in Madrid demand a boost to the business plans that have been cut by the financial crisis. Moreover, the code-shares between Vueling and Iberia block the increase of Vueling in Madrid.
During the negotiations between Norwegian, the Madrid Autonomous Area, the Government of the town and Aena, Bjorn Kjos, CEO for Norwegian would have described their ambitious growth project in Spain, including long haul flights. They aim to start an intercontinental low cost strategy where Madrid would be very important as an eventual operational base as from the spring of 2014.
Increasing the seat availability by 50% in Spain this season
Last year, Norwegian established two bases at Málaga and Gran Canaria. In 2013 they have scheduled two more bases for Alicante. and Tenerife South. In 2014 they are supposed to add the bases of Madrid and Barcelona.
They move 2.2 million passengers in Spain with a growth by 52.5% in the last year which puts them in the 11th position of Aena.
Norwegian foresee an increase by over 50% in the seat availability for the current summer season with regard to last summer 2012. They have bought 222 aircrafts, among which a number of B787 is included for the long haul flights.