East Coast Wine Trail

East Coast Wine Trail
East Coast Wine Trail

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Is another European airline teetering on the brink?

Norwegian Air has received a $464 million financial lifeline from the Norwegian government, which has also provided funds to struggling regional carriers SAS and Wideroe. 

Norwegian has grounded all its flights due to the coronavirus pandemic and laid off 90% of its staff. 

More money will be made available if creditors agree to forego interest rates and installments as part of strict loan guarantees. 

"We are very grateful that we are now being offered this," said Norwegian chief executive Jacob Schram, adding that the company would do 'all it can' to meet the government's criteria. 

The Norwegian Government move is one of the first of what is expected to be a wave of packages from governments confronted with airlines whose fleets are grounded and revenues have all but evaporated. 

Norwegian Air was founded in 1993 and offers a schedule within Scandinavia and Finland, and to business destinations such as London, as well as to holiday destinations in the Mediterranean and Canary Islands.

Closer to home, the New Zealand Government agreed to bail out the nation’s main airline, Air New Zealand, by providing a $900 million standby loan. 

Shares in Air New Zealand dived 43% on Friday after a suspension in trading was lifted. 

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