Norwegian Air CEO asks Oslo to close airspace to Russian airliners

The high-profile boss of low-fare carrier Norwegian Air is frustrated over Russian authorities’ refusal to let his airline’s Oslo-Bangkok flights fly over Russian airspace. Bjørn Kjos is calling on Norwegian authorities to respond by closing Norway’s airspace to Russian airlines.

Norwegian's CEO Bjørn Kjos. Photo: Norwegian.
Norwegian’s CEO Bjørn Kjos. Photo: Norwegian.

Norwegian Air’s Kjos, whose name has given rise to the expression “Kjos-stuck” for his airline’s delayed passengers in Norway, continues to face challenges on many other fronts, like the legality of using Asian crews on Irish-registered Norwegian aircraft into the US.

Norwegian Air’s chief executive, Bjørn Kjos, has lost patience with Russian authorities who won’t allow his airline to use Russian airspace on its flights to Bangkok. Norwegian is thus forced to make a long and expensive detour around Russian territory, and Kjos is urging the Norwegian government to retaliate.

“I think that’s the only language the Russians would understand,” Kjos told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) on February 13.

Kjos’ demand comes just after his airline had to report heavy losses in 2014, mostly because of the high costs of Norwegian’s expansion into intercontinental routes. Among them is a costly detour that Norwegian flights are forced to take when flying between Oslo and Bangkok, a route that Kjos had expected would be profitable.

Read more: News in English Norway

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