On September 1st, at 14.00 CET in 2002, the very first Boeing 737 flight with Norwegian from Oslo to Bergen took off, marking the birth of the new airline. During the past 20 years, Norwegian has welcomed more than 300 million passengers on board. On the Oslo-Bergen route alone, the airline has carried 15 million passengers.
Norwegian is Norway’s largest airline with 4,000 employees, and with the Nordics as Norwegian’s main market, the airline today offers a large route network across Europe. In 2002, Norwegian operated four domestic routes in Norway, and by the summer season of 2022 the company operated 280 routes and 108 destinations across Norway, the Nordics and Europe.
“Norwegian’s development during the past 20 years would not have been possible without our passengers, and our goal – affordable flights for all – was well received by travellers since the very first day. Not everyone in the industry was happy about the new competition but since then, airfares have dropped and Norwegian has made air travel accessible to the wider public. I would like to thank our passengers and employees for making Norwegian a 20-year-old with a bright looking future ahead,” said Geir Karlsen, CEO of Norwegian.
In 2002, Norwegian operated seven aircraft with about 300 employees. The following year, which was the first full year of operation, more than 1.2 million passengers travelled with Norwegian. In comparison, the company carried about 2.2 million passengers in July 2022 only.
The 20th birthday was celebrated at Oslo airport in connection with the anniversary flight to Bergen, exactly 20 years after Norwegian’s very first flight. Norwegian’s founder Bjørn Kjos, State Secretary Jacob Bjelland from the Norwegian Ministry of Transport, and CEO Abraham Foss from the airport operator Avinor, were present to take part in the celebration.