Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, known as Norwegian, is Norway`s largest airline and a popular low-coster - the 3rd in Europe.
The forecasts for the company are constantly getting worse. Due to low demand Norwegian has reduced the number of flights and crew members.
Norway`s authorities are subsidizing the air carrier to keep several routes within the country. However, some of these domestic flights have only 1 passenger to transport.
The fact of its fleet consisting mostly of Boeing 737 and 787 Dreamliner aircraft models didn`t give Norwegian any additional assurance.
The older 737 ones proved to be almost faultless, and the company ordered over 100 aircraft of this model - in addition to its eighteen 727 MAX. Yet Dreamliner 787-9 aircraft, owned by Norwegian in the quantity of 29, revealed an issue with the Rolls-Royce engine.
Although the air carrier initially expected a profitable financial year, the actual metrics still didn`t show a good financial condition.
The situation became critical for the company with the coronavirus pandemic and the associated travel restrictions, especially when Donald Trump banned the US-bound flights from the Schengen Area. At that point Norway also closed its borders for non-citizens.
Jacob Schram, the airline CEO, underlined that the priority is to secure liquidity for at at least some weeks, not even months. According to Schram the company could have faced cash problems, if not for the governmental support:
"What our industry is now facing is unprecedented and critical as we are approaching a scenario where most of our airplanes will be temporarily grounded. Several governments in Europe have already said that they will do everything they can to ensure that their airlines
We appreciate that the authorities of Norway have communicated that they will implement all necessary measures to protect aviation in Norway, consequently securing crucial infrastructure and jobs."
Norwegian Air Shuttle has received governmental support, as many other air carriers. The Norwegian authorities exempted the airline from paying taxes and offered 280 million USD.
The company though only got a part of this sum, as to get access to the rest it must secure guarantees from its suppliers and keep an eye on the stock sale. It turned out that satisfying these requirements might be much harder, as Norwegian had already revealed longterm financial problems and got less attractive for potential investors.