Norwegian Air furloughs staff, pleads for help to survive in 2021

Struggling airline Norwegian Air on Tuesday said it faced a “very uncertain future” with “ventilator support” needed to survive the winter, after the government said it would not provide further backing.

The airline, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus crisis and has grounded most of its fleet, added that its cash crisis could force it to halt operations early next year. It is now serving domestic routes only, with just six of its 140 aircraft flying.

“Norwegian is dependent on additional working capital in order to continue operating through the first quarter of 2021 and beyond”, the airline said.

On Monday, Norway’s government rejected calls for more state support for the airline, saying it would be too risky. Following the rejection, the company said it would furlough 1,600 more staff, leaving only 600 people still working out of its total 10,000 workers before the pandemic.

“The fact that our government has decided to refrain from providing Norwegian with further financial support is very disappointing and feels like a slap in the face for everybody at Norwegian who is fighting for the company when our competitors are receiving billions in funding from their respective governments,” said chief executive Jacob Schram.

The company held cash and cash equivalents of $380 million at the end of September, down from $550 million three months earlier.

News by NewEurope

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