Friday 12/4/20
AIR TRAFFIC CRISIS

Norwegian Air's losses grow due to coronavirus pandemic

Norwegian flew almost 1 million passengers in the third quarter, a drop of 91% year-on-year, and operated only 25 aircraft out of its 140-strong fleet.

A Norwegian plane takes off from Palma airport. Photo: Clara Margais/dpa/file photo.
A Norwegian plane takes off from Palma airport. Photo: Clara Margais/dpa/file photo.

Norway-based budget airline Norwegian Air reported a third quarter net loss of 980 million kroner (108 million dollars), as the coronavirus pandemic caused a sharp drop in demand for air travel.

The loss for the July-to-September period was compared to a net profit of 1.6 billion kroner a year ago, the airline said on Tuesday.

Revenue slumped by more than 90% year-on-year to 1.28 billion kroner.

Norwegian said it flew almost 1 million passengers in the third quarter, a drop of 91% year-on-year, and operated only 25 aircraft out of its 140-strong fleet.

"Our third quarter results clearly show that the effects of the global Covid-19 pandemic continue to heavily impact our operations and financial position," chief executive Jacob Schram said.

1,600 furloughs

The airline on Monday expressed its "deep disappointment" at the Norwegian government's decision not to approve more financial support. Later it said a further 1,600 employees would be furloughed.

Only 600 employees were to work in the coming months. The pre-pandemic workforce numbered around 10,000 employees.

The government's decision, combined with "newly imposed strict Covid-19 measures, leaves the company in a challenging situation," Norwegian said on Tuesday.

In May, Norwegian received about half of the 6-billion-kroner fund for airlines under Norway's loan guarantee scheme.

The airline also agreed on a restructuring plan with bondholders and lessors of its fleet.

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