Bjørn Kjos (born 1946) is the CEO and a major shareholder of the successful airline, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Europe’s third largest low cost carrier. Aviation has been a central part of Bjørn’s life and flying has been a great interest ever since he was a child as his father owned a small airplane. After two years of pilot training in Mississippi and Arizona in the US, he became a fighter pilot in the 334 squadron of the Norwegian Royal Air Force, guarding the Norwegian airspace against Soviet intruders between 1969 and 1975.
After leaving the air force, Bjørn studied law, and is a Graduate from the University of Oslo. He has over 20 years of legal practise and in 1993, he was granted the right of audience in the Supreme Court. At the same time he became one of the founding partners and the Chairman of Norwegian Air Shuttle which took over the remains of the bankrupt airline Busy Bee. Norwegian started flights on the western coast of Norway with Fokker 50s in cooperation with Braathens. In 2002, SAS bought Braathens and terminated Norwegian’s west coast operation. In order to save Norwegian and its employees, Norwegian turned into a complete Boeing 737-operation and went into head-to-head competition with SAS on domestic routes in Norway. Bjørn has been the company’s CEO since October 2002.
Bjørn is a sought-after speaker on entrepreneurship and executive leadership. In 2009, he won Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in Norway.
Bjørn is a true outdoor person and loves sailing, skiing and hunting. He is a keen writer. In 2006 he debuted with the spy thriller The Murmansk Affair (“Murmanskaffæren”), followed by the autobiography High and Low (“Høyt og lavt”) in 2015.
Bjørn is married to Gerd Helene Kjos (former air stewardess) and they have two daughters and one son. One of the daughters is a pilot at Norwegian.