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Norwegian Secures €260m State Aid Following Restructuring

Norwegian Secures €260m State Aid Following Restructuring

Norwegian has completed a complex restructuring allowing the low-cost carrier to access a state loan guarantee of NOK3 billion (€260 million). The company has now converted NOK12.7 billion of debt to equity.

Jacob Schram, Chief Executive, said: “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 recent financial moves virtually wiped out existing shareholders, including Bjorn Kjos, founder and former chief executive of the airline.

Since the end of 2018, Norwegian has taken significant actions to restructure its operations and return to profitability. The company was on the path to deliver a positive net profit in 2020, and this summer was set to be the strongest in its history. Instead, the coronavirus outbreak and global travel restrictions has led to a substantial drop in demand.

The company has sought to use this time as an opportunity to restructure and develop a new strategy and business plan – New Norwegian – for a strengthened airline to re-emerge when travel restrictions are lifted, and demand returns.

“In addition to securing that the company survives this crisis, our goal has been that Norwegian should have a strong position in the future airline industry, with a clear direction and strategy,” added Jacob. “This will ensure sustainable operations and a structure that will be to the benefit of both shareholders, customers and colleagues.”

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, copywriter, editor and proofreader for 52 years, and News & Features Editor for ‘Irish Travel Trade News’ for the past 42 years.

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