Lounge - Bjørn-Erik Barman-Jenssen Vice President Ground Operations & In-flight Services, Norwegian Airlines

Published: Sunday, March 13, 2016

Norwegian Air is currently the third largest low-cost carrier in
Europe. Founded in 1993, the airline operates over 400 routes, to
more than 130 destinations in Europe, North Africa, the Middle
East, Thailand, the Caribbean and the USA. As a young airline
that has experienced significant growth over the past few years,
Norwegian has been credited with the introduction of brand new
aircraft to its fleet. It has also launched many new routes, while
establishing new bases in Europe, Asia. We spoke to Bjørn-Erik
Barman-Jenssen, Vice President Ground Operations & In-flight
Services, Norwegian Air on a slew of topics.

Excerpts from the interview:

What is your current role in Norwegian Airlines?
I am currently Vice President Ground Operations & In-flight
Services at Norwegian Air. Managing Norwegian Cargo also
forms a significant part of my role. I started Norwegian Cargo in
2013, the same year we pioneered the re-emergence of low-cost
long-haul travel. My main aim is to ensure our growing wide body
capacity on long-haul routes from Europe to the U.S. and Asia is

Your educational qualifications and previous work experiences
I’ve worked in aviation for over 25 years, having worked in several
roles across the airline industry. I began my career as a check-in
agent with Braathens S.A.F.E. (South American and Far East Air
Transport) and during my time with the airline, I had worked as
Training Manager, Station Manager and Product Manager. I then
moved on to be a Product Manager for Ground Operations when
SAS bought Braathens in 2002.

How did aviation industry happen to you?

I guess you can say I was born into it. My father worked at
Braathens for 35 years so I guess I didn’t have any other choice!

What are the perks of being in this industry?
The industry is fascinating and there is no other like it. No days
are ever the same and there’s always a new challenge to contend

If not aviation, which other industry would have you opted
for and why?

I would set up my own beach bar with a warm and sunny
backdrop which has no Wi-Fi and no mobile signal and guess
what I would call it – ‘Barman’.

Any funny anecdote from your professional life you would
like to share with our readers?

When I was leaving SAS a director said that if I walk out that door,
you will never come back. Well, I came back through the door a
couple of years later, and now it’s Norwegian’s head office.

Your favourite holiday hotspot?
I have several favourites but if I were to choose one, it would have
to be Altea in Spain.

Favourite cuisine?
I love fish. The special types of salmon that we fly from Norway
around the world on our state-of-the-art 787 Dreamliner aircraft
make the best Sushi ever.

Your ultimate goal in life?
It’s simply to be happy and live long. My great grandfather was
108 years old, so I hope I have a good number of years left. He
still lives on as one of Norwegian’s tail fin heroes with his picture
adorning one of our aircraft.