Norwegian Air CEO and co-founder Kjos announces his own departure

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on July 11, 2019 - Duration: 01:10s

Norwegian Air CEO and co-founder Kjos announces his own departure

Norwegian Air's Bjoern Kjos stepped down on Thursday as chief executive of the airline he co-founded and turned into Europe's third-biggest budget carrier by passenger numbers over more than 25 years.

Pascale Davies reports.

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Norwegian Air CEO and co-founder Kjos announces his own departure

The driving force behind Norwegian Air stepped down as CEO Thursday.

At the age of 72, Bjoern Kjos told reporters "I am way overdue".

After starting his career as a former fighter pilot, he helped expand Norwegian Air when it was much smaller.

And was a key figure in turning the company around into Europe's third-biggest budget carrier by passenger numbers.

But the company has faced recent turbulence.

Its rapid expansion has left it with heaby losses and high debts.

Earlier this year it had to borrow $350 million from shareholders.

And it's also been hit by the grounding of the Boeing 737 Max plane.

The company has 18 of those aircrafts, which it previously expected to be used in August but now forecasts they will return to service in October.

Kjos said on Thursday several parties were interested in buying NorwegIan.

It isn't the end of the road for him, he'll act as an advisor to Norwegian's chairman from now on.

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