Norwegian Air Shuttle receives Market Leadership Award


On January 28, 2009 Norwegian received the Market Leadership Award from the international aviation magazine Air Transport World (ATW). The award is widely viewed as the “Oscar” of the airline industry.

Flybe and Norwegian are the only European winners in ATW 35th Annual Industry Achievement Awards.  Flybe won the Regional Airline of the Year prize, while Norwegian scooped the Market Leadership Award.

The awards will be presented in Washington DC on February 17th and is widely regarded as the pinnacle of aviation achievement, particularly given that ATW is the most widely read aviation monthly publication in the world. 

Norwegian’s prize was awarded for the airline’s “Successful adaptation of the low-cost model to the Scandinavian air travel market. In particular, the editors were impressed by Norwegian’s strategy to combine low fares with high tech, with a strong emphasis on customer-focused information technology”.  

“Norwegian has demonstrated innovation and creativity, borrowing elements of the traditional Anglo-Irish low-fare model and moulding them to the more service-oriented Scandinavian consumer,” says Editorial Director Perry Flint of ATW.

He makes no secret of being greatly impressed by what Norwegian has achieved in a short period of time. “Few in the industry gave Norwegian much of a chance when it decided to reinvent itself as a low cost carrier in 2002, but it has proved the sceptics wrong and built a strong market presence as Scandinavia’s leading LCC. By approaching the market differently, Norwegian has created a business model that proved resilient in the downturn,” says Perry Flint.
Bjørn Kjos

CEO of Norwegian Bjørn Kjos.

ATW is particularly impressed by Norwegian’s ability to combine low fares with high-tech customer-focused IT solutions. It notes that Norwegian was the first European low cost airline to offer passengers the “direct-to-the-gate option” of bypassing the check-in counter with a credit card swipe. ATW also emphasizes that Norwegian is the first airline in the world to test encrypted fingerprints, or so-called biometric encryption during check-in. The objective is to improve security and speed up boarding.

The jury also noted Norwegian’s swift response when Sterling collapsed in 2008, and commends its ability to stay profitable in challenging times. “This award is important to Norwegian, and is inspires us to continue to develop Norwegian further. It is proof that the work we are laying down is being noticed, not only in Norway, but also internationally,” says CEO Bjørn Kjos of Norwegian.

The international award is just one of many positive events that has lifted Norwegian into the new year. Earlier in January Norwegian was named Tourism Marketer of the Year in Norway by HSMAI. At the same time Norwegian could celebrate its best new-year campaign ever. On the first day of sales the company broke their own previous sales record by more than 100%.

“The start of the year has been overwhelming for Norwegian. This makes us optimistic about the year that lies ahead,” says Chief Commercial Officer Daniel Skjeldam. 


The Norwegian American

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