Airlines

Published on November 18th, 2020 | by Alan Dwyer

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Norwegian Air International Seeks Examinership in Ireland

Norwegian Air International has asked an Irish court to oversee a restructuring of its massive debt as it seeks to stave off collapse amid the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement by the airline, Norwegian has chosen an Irish process since its aircraft assets are held in Ireland. Norwegian has taken this decision in the interest of its stakeholders. The purpose of the process is to reduce debt, rightsize the fleet and secure new capital. This reorganisation process protects the assets of the Norwegian group while allowing the company to focus on the rightsizing of the group. The process is estimated to take up to five months.

Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian

The airline said that the Norwegian government’s decision to withhold further from the airline and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic the airline had no other decision. Speaking as the announcement was made, Jacob Schram, Norwegian CEO said “Seeking protection to reorganise under Irish law is a decision that we have taken to secure the future of Norwegian for the benefit of our employees, customers and investors. Our aim is to find solutions with our stakeholders that will allow us to emerge as a financially stronger and secure airline. Our intent is clear. We will emerge from this process as a more financially secure and competitive airline, with a new financial structure, a rightsized fleet and improved customer offering.”

The Norwegian group’s aviation asset platform is held by companies based in Dublin. Arctic Aviation Assets DAC is the parent company of these companies. This arm of the business handles aircraft financing and ownership. Arctic Aviation Assets DAC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Norwegian. Norwegian’s debt and liabilities stood at USD$7.4 billion at the end of September.

The airline still plans to have both short-haul and long-haul service. Norwegian Air has scaled back its schedules drastically and is now serving twelve domestic routes only, with only six of its 140 aircraft flying. They had been flying 21 of its aircraft in recent months. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Norwegian employed more than 10,000 people at bases across its network. In the coming months, than number will reduce to around 600.

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