Norwegian Air: State rescue confirmed

Ailing budget carrier Norwegian today confirmed the completion of restructuring with a state loan guarantee totalling NOK 3 billion.

The carrier has now converted NOK 12.7 billion of debt to equity and laid a “solid foundation” for the future.

However, the airline, which has grounded almost all operations, warned that the next months “will remain challenging”.

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Norwegian Air was last week on course to secure additional funds after reporting a new share offering had been vastly oversubscribed.

Chief executive Jacob Schram said today: “I want to thank everyone who has supported the company during this unprecedented crisis that has affected the entire airline industry: the government and parliament, customers, employees, shareholders, leasing companies, creditors, bondholders, the travel industry and other Norwegian supporters.

“Now that we can access the state loan guarantee, we can continue to transform the company.

“Through this process, the belief in ‘New Norwegian’ and the company’s strategy have been confirmed by shareholders, the market, bondholders, leasing companies, other creditors and lenders.

“Nevertheless, the months ahead will remain challenging and with a high degree of uncertainty for the industry.

“Norwegian will still need to collaborate closely with a number of creditors as the company currently has limited revenues.”

The airline, previously the third-largest at Gatwick, has taken significant action to restructure its operations and return to profitability for more than a year.

Norwegian was on course to deliver a positive net profit in 2020, and this summer was set to be the strongest in its history.

But the coronavirus outbreak and global travel restrictions have led to a substantial drop in demand.

The airline now plans to use the downtime to restructure and develop a new strategy and business plan for a strengthened business to re-emerge when travel restrictions are lifted and demand returns.

Schram added: “In addition to securing the company’s survival through this crisis, our goal has been that Norwegian should have a strong position in the future airline industry, with a clear direction and strategy.

“This will ensure sustainable operations and a structure that will be to the benefit of shareholders, customers and colleagues.”

MoreNorwegian Air pulls off equity sale

Norwegian Air clears latest rescue hurdle

Ryanair warns over losses continuing into summer peak


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