Airlines Norwegian to ground its fleet until 2021

Low-Cost carrier Norwegian has released its new restructuring proposal and business plan for the COVID-19 aftermath.

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The Coronavirus crisis has hit Norwegian and its subsidiary airlines hard. 85% of the airline´s flights had to be cancelled by mid-March, while 95% of its entire fleet is grounded and 7,650 employees furloughed.

Norwegian is dependent on receiving its part of the State Aid Package, which the Norwegian Government has announced. The airline said that it needs to access 3 billion NOK by mid-May in order to manage the significant challenges.

After recapitalisation, the airline predicts to be in need for further funding in order to return to normal services. Norwegian expects a slow recovery, which sees the entire fleet being grounded until the second quarter of 2021. Then, the airline will begin to gradually ramp-up operations again.

With this “New Norwegian”, the airline seeks to enter the low-cost market again. From its strong market position in the Nordics, the airline will use the low average fleet age to fly as operational efficient as possible. The carrier said that a young fleet will be a key sustainability, commercia and financial advantage going forward.

As of now, Norwegian has 90 Boeing 737-800s, 18 Boeing 737-MAX 8s, eight Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner and 29 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner in its fleet. The whole-Boeing fleet allows the airline to use same maintenance processes at different locations.

About a week ago, Norwegian announced that for subsidiary companies had to file for bankruptcy after the Coronavirus hit the airline hard. Main reasons were the decreased travel demand and the flight restrictions.

Back then, CEO of Norwegian, Jacob Schram commented: “The impact the Coronavirus has had on the airline industry is unprecedented. We have done everything we can to avoid making this last-resort decision and we have asked for access to government support in both Sweden and Denmark.”

Norwegian Air Shuttle was founded in 1993 and operated as low-cost carrier ever since. Today, the subsidiaries Norwegian Air Argentina, International, Norway, Shuttle, Sweden, UK and Long Haul are operating in the group.

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