Norwegian Air Records Increase In Loss Due To COVID-19

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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 airline on Tuesday said the loss for the July-to-September period was compared to a net profit of 1.6 billion kroner in 2019.

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

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

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

The airline on Monday expressed its `deep disappointment’ at the Norwegian government’s decision not to approve more financial support adding that 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.

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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