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Norwegian Air restructure reduces billions of debt

Norwegian Air has emerged from its six-month long financial reconstruction process, reducing its debt since the end of 2019 by approximately £5.3bn.

It brings to an end a process that began last November when Norwegian Air International Limited and its subsidiary Arctic Aviation Assets entered into an examinership process in Ireland and a reconstruction process in Norway. Its purpose was to reduce debt, rightsize the fleet and secure new capital.


Its reconstruction plans - which were approved by courts in Norway and Ireland in the middle of April 2021 - allowed the firm to begin raising capital. On Friday (21 May) it announced it had raised at least NOK6bn (£506m). This, according to Reuters, is more than the at least NOK4.5bn (£379m) it was required to raise. Of this, approximately NOK3.7bn (£312m) was raised through the private placement of new shares, with up to NOK1.8bn (£151m) being raised through new capital perpetual bonds.


As part of this process, the company has discontinued its long haul operations, and reduced the size of its fleet from 156 planes down to 51. Additionally, it has terminated aircraft orders with Boeing and Airbus, representing capital expenditure commitments of approximately NOK85bn (£7.1bn) in aggregated value.


Norwegian Air chief executive Jacob Schram said: “I would like to acknowledge and thank everyone who has had faith in us throughout this period. We have been completely dependent on the support of existing and former employees, business partners and shareholders, creditors and not least customers.”

The company’s total liabilities upon completion of the restructuring proposal will be approximately NOK16bn-18bn (£1.3bn-£1.5bn) - of which NOK5.8bn-6.3bn (£489m-£531m) is aircraft-related debt - while its cash balance is estimated to be approximately NOK7bn (£590m).

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