The Norwegian Government has stepped in with an offer of financial support for Norwegian Air’s short-haul operation in a move the airline said will ‘significantly enhance’ its survival prospects.
The political vote of confidence came a week after the beleaguered carrier scrapped all long-haul routes in favour of a European network.
The decision will lead to the loss of 1100 jobs in the UK.
Norwegian Chief Executive Jacob Schram – who has spent months criticising ministers for their lack of help – thanked the government for stepping in.
“Norwegian has been faced with a very challenging and demanding situation due to the pandemic, and the government’s support significantly increases our chances of raising new capital and getting us through the reconstruction process we are currently in,” he said.
“We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but a participation from the government underscores that we are heading in the right direction,”
No details of the financial support was released, although it is subject to certain conditions, including the ability of Norwegian to attract NOK 4.5b of private investment.
The government added that it had no plans to become a part-owner of the airline.
Schram added: “With a new business plan, and a participation from the government, we are confident we can attract investors and get through the Examinership and reconstruction process.
“We have received extensive support from political parties, customers, colleagues, shareholders, and business partners, for which we are extremely grateful, especially during these challenging times.
“Furthermore, the government’s support will contribute to help securing jobs and maintain healthy competition within the aviation sector.”