Norwegian has reported its highest ever passenger figures in a single year, with more than 37 million travellers flying with the low-cost carrier in 2018.

The airline also reported a load factor of 86 per cent last year.

The launch of 35 new routes, the delivery of 25 brand new aircraft and a substantial increase of intercontinental traffic contributed considerably to the growth.

At the same time, last year was characterised by major investments, strong competition and a high oil price, all of which drove down the share price of the carrier.

In response, Norwegian has implemented a series of cost-reduction measures to boost its financials in 2019.

The load factor, however, fell sharply to 78.6 per cent, during December.

Norwegian also revealed today it made a loss of US$232 million for the October-December quarter from fuel hedging.

The company carried 37.34 million passengers in 2018, an increase of 13 per cent compared to the previous year.

The full-year load factor was 85.8 per cent, down from 87.5 per cent in 2017.

During 2018, Norwegian took delivery of 25 brand new aircraft and launched 35 new routes, primarily between Europe and the United States.

South America was welcomed to the network, with the launch of a direct route between London and Buenos Aires, as well as new domestic routes in Argentina.

“The 2018 traffic figures demonstrate that our international footprint continues to grow stronger, in line with the Norwegian Group’s strategy.

“The company has made considerable investments this year and will now enter a period of slower growth.

“We have adjusted and optimised our route portfolio and the capacity going forward.

“We have also made seasonal adjustments for the winter,” said Norwegian chief executive, Bjørn Kjos.