Norwegian enters into an agreement to buy Widerøe
Norwegian has entered into an agreement with WF Holding AS to buy Widerøe. The agreement will give customers a better route offer, more options and help secure Norwegian jobs. Widerøe will continue to exist as its own airline, with its own brand, organization and head office in Bodø.
For Norwegian passengers, the offer will be improved, among other things, by connecting Widerøe’s extensive regional route network and Norwegian’s national and international routes more closely, so that customers can travel seamlessly in both networks. Widerøe covers more than 40 small and medium-sized airports throughout Norway, in addition to some larger airports in Europe. Norwegian, for its part, flies over 300 routes to 114 destinations in the Nordics and Europe.
The companies complement each other
– This is a milestone in Norwegian aviation history. We are two Norwegian airlines that have lived side by side for many years, and together we know the aviation market in the country very well. Now together we want to create an even better and comprehensive offer for all our passengers, and we look forward to customers being able to travel easily and seamlessly across our route networks, says Geir Karlsen, CEO of Norwegian.
The two companies have little overlapping routes and complement each other well. Out of a total of 107 routes in Norway (Widerøe 85 and Norwegian 22), only five overlap, routes that are all served by standard jet aircraft.
Norwegian aviation history
Widerøe is Norway’s oldest aviation group, with head office in Bodø and administrative office in Oslo. The company has a fleet of just under 50 aircraft and a market share on Norwegian domestic routes of around 20 per cent measured by the number of passengers.
– Widerøe has a nearly 90-year history, and we are the guarantor of a functioning grid in District Norway. Although we have a solid footprint in Norway, we are smaller in an international context. A very high Norwegian tax level in combination with tough international competition makes it difficult for a small, regional airline to manage without a strong partner. We are therefore very happy that we have found together with Norwegian, and that we are getting an industrial owner who wants to develop the companies further. We are convinced that this solution is in the best interest of Widerøe, for our employees, and not least for our customers, says Stein Nilsen, CEO of Widerøe.
– The agreement will ensure an even better offer for passengers in Norway, facilitate a more efficient operation that lays the foundation for a strong Norwegian aviation industry with Norwegian jobs and orderly working conditions. Together with Norwegian tourism companies, the two companies can have greater opportunities to develop Norwegian tourism. We will ensure that all passengers get a complete offer, including with our attractive Norwegian Reward loyalty programme, says Karlsen.
Both companies will continue to have bases, head offices and employees in Norway in the same way as today, with their respective employment and collective agreements. Widerøe will maintain existing agreements with other airlines.
The agreed price Norwegian must pay for the shares in Widerøe is NOK 1,125 million. The final price will depend on certain conditions, including an adjustment for Widerøe’s profitability in 2023. For further financial information, see the stock exchange announcement .
Widerøe is Norway’s oldest aviation group with over 3,500 committed employees. The group consists of the subsidiaries Widerøe`s Flyveselskap AS, Widerøe Ground Handling AS, Widerøe Technical Services AS, Widerøe Zero AS, Widerøe Property AS and Widerøe Asset AS.
In District Norway, Widerøe’s flights are of great importance for business, healthcare, education, tourism and culture, and serve as the districts’ public transport. Widerøe Ground Handling handles ground services at 42 airports in Norway and Widerøe Technical Services is represented with technical bases and services at five different destinations in Norway.
The Widerøe group is owned by WF Holding, in which Flyco and Fjord1 have ownership shares of 66 and 34 per cent respectively.
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