Monday 10/25/21

Norwegian airline calls for more financial aid due to pandemic

The number of passengers declined by 71% and 8,000 employees have been furloughed or laid off.

FILED - 27 April 2019, Spain, Palma: A Norwegian plane takes off from Palma airport. Low-cost airline Norwegian Air Shuttle plans to cancel thousands of flights due to the spread of the coronavirus. Norwegian Airlines called for additional financial aid on Friday, saying it would not survive into 2021 due to huge losses stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: Clara Margais/dpa.
A Norwegian plane takes off from Palma airport. Photo: Clara Margais/dpa.

Norwegian Airlines called for additional financial aid on Friday, saying it would not survive into 2021 due to huge losses stemming from the coronavirus pandemic.

Sales declined by 65% to 7 million kroner (800,000 dollars), compared to the first half of 2019, leading to 4.8 million kroner in losses, according to chief executive Jacob Schram.

"When we entered 2020, we were expecting a positive result and the best summer ever, thanks to successful cost-saving initiatives and a more efficient operation," Schram said in a statement.

"Then we were hit by Covid-19 and customer demand literally stopped from one day to the next," he said.

Demand declined

The number of passengers declined by 71% and 8,000 employees have been furloughed or laid off.

In May, Norwegian converted its debt into stocks, paving the way for state guarantees worth 3 million kroner and 340 million kroner in credit from private banks.

"We are thankful for the loan guarantee made available to us by the Norwegian government which we worked hard to obtain. However, given the current market conditions it is not enough to get through this prolonged crisis," Schram said.

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