Budget carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle reported a second-quarter net profit of NOK128 million ($20.6 million), down 35% from a net profit of NOK196.8 million reported in the year-ago period.

The airline said the quarter reflected strong growth in passenger numbers and a record high load factor, but had been adversely affected by “significant, one-off costs, a weak Norwegian currency and high oil prices.” A strike by the Parat labor union earlier this year cost the airline more than NOK100 million in lost revenue, it said. In addition, the airline incurred wet-leasing costs for aircraft to operate its long-haul routes as a result of technical problems following the introduction of its Boeing 787 aircraft.

Operating revenue for the quarter was up 26% to just over NOK5 billion from just over NOK4 billion for the same period in 2013, and unit costs were down 2% for the quarter (4% excluding fuel).

Passenger numbers were up 16% to 6.4 million and load factor was up three percentage points to 80% for the quarter.

ASKs were up 41% to just over 12 billion and RPKs were up 46% to 9.6 billion.

Norwegian’s CEO Bjørn Kjos said: “This quarter, we see clear results of the company’s strategy. Over the past year, we have established a long-haul operation and we have opened several new bases in Europe. More than half of our 417 routes are currently operated outside Norway, which illustrates a significant international expansion over the past year. At the same time, we have managed to cut costs, which is essential in such a competitive, global business as the aviation industry. We have, however, had significant, one-off expenses. Both wet lease of aircraft and the strike from labor union Parat has affected the result significantly. There is also a high competitive pressure, particularly in the Scandinavian market.”

Kjos pointed out the airline industry is still facing challenges as a result of the financial crisis and global downturn, and stressed that future demand is dependent on “sustained consumer and business confidence in the company’s key markets.”