January 2, 2019 View in browser

Would you buy a ticket for summer travel on Norwegian Air?

It's a question I'm struggling with as I plan the great Sumers European family vacation of 2019. From Los Angeles, Norwegian is not only the cheapest, but also often the most convenient. While legacy carriers fly only to their hubs, Norwegian flies to cities tourists want to visit, including, in our case, Copenhagen.

But will Norwegian be around come July?

Just before Christmas, while most of us were not paying attention, Norwegian told investors it would tweak its network, while selling five of its Airbus aircraft. The airline seeks to stem early-year losses, the most difficult for European airlines because leisure customers dig in for winter. An aviation analyst told Bloomberg, "It could be a very tough winter and first quarter."

My gut tells me Norwegian will survive. International Airlines Group still owns almost 5 percent of it, and its trenchant CEO, Willie Walsh, is not likely to keep an investment in an airline he knows will fail. Plus, the mid-2018 fuel panic has subsided, so Norwegian's costs should be significantly lower than feared. But who wants to buy a ticket in January for a flight that may, or may not, depart six months later?

What do you think? Should we buy? Or wait to see how the world's largest long-haul, low-cost airline navigates the first quarter?

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Skift Senior Aviation Business Editor Brian Sumers [bss@skift.com] curates the Skift Airline Innovation Report. Skift emails the newsletter every Wednesday. Have a story idea? Or a juicy news tip? Want to share a memo? Send him an email or tweet him.

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