The Board of Directors of Oslo Airport has appointed Øyvind Hasaas as its new Managing Director. Hasaas (57) will take up his new role in August.
A business economist, Hasaas brings a broad range of industrial experience to the role from major international organisations, including REC Solar ASA – a solar power company headquartered in Oslo; and Norsk Hydro ASA – an aluminium and renewable energy company, similarly headquartered in the Norwegian capital. His key competencies include turning businesses around, restructuring projects, as well as launching new products and market segments.
He replaces Nic Nilsen (67), who has decided to step down after 15 distinguished years at the helm. Nilsen’s tenure was characterised by a real passion for the aviation industry and the role that Oslo Airport plays in the Norwegian economy and society. While this made his decision to step down a difficult one, he also alludes to seeing “a need for renewal”, and Hasaas speaks with enthusiasm about continuing the passionate approach: “I look forward to taking over from Nic Nilsen and to developing Oslo Airport as a part of the Avinor Group. I will do everything to ensure that the terminal development will be completed on time and within the budgetary constraints, and with the least possible disruption for the users of Oslo Airport during the construction period. I also look forward to cooperating with Avinor employees and other partners to the benefit of the passengers.”
He joins the airport at a time of intense activity. After breaking ground in 2011, construction of the new departures and arrivals hall, new railway station and new pier will be completed in April 2017, increasing the airport’s annual capacity to 28 million.
Under Nilsen’s stewardship, the airport has developed into a major international success story. 2013 was a record year, with around 23 million passengers handled – up 4% year-on-year. A central part of Nilsen’s strategy has been expanding Oslo’s portfolio of long-haul routes, and notable success was achieved with the announcement that Emirates will commence services between Dubai and Oslo in September. “Demand for good routes is huge, and it is of course gratifying that we can offer travellers almost 170 direct routes,” he said.
Norway’s generally healthy economic situation combined with attractive routes, including new intercontinental services to the US and Asia, made 2013 a banner year for the airport. Meanwhile, the latest available figures for April show a 4.6% rise in passenger numbers to almost two million, fuelled by an impressive 13.2% increase in international traffic, pointing to an exciting future as Hasaas prepares to take the helm.