Norwegian’s rise and battle for survival
OSLO – Having grown rapidly to become Europe’s third-largest low-cost airline and one of the few to apply the budget model to transatlantic flights, Norwegian Air is fighting for its survival again – management asked an Irish court to oversee a restructuring of its massive debt on Wednesday.
Following are key dates in the company’s 27-year history.
Nov. 9: The Norwegian government says that it will not provide additional financial support for the cash-strapped carrier
Aug. 28: Norwegian Air says it will need to secure funding this year for the next 18 months or more to see it through the COVID-19 pandemic after reporting first-half losses of $610 million.
May 18: Norwegian Air completes a cut-price share sale and wins bondholders’ backing for a refinancing, allowing it to continue operating with a slimmed-down schedule.
March 24: The airline receives an initial government cash injection of 300 million Norwegian crowns ($33 million).
March 16: Norwegian says it is cancelling 85% of its flights and temporarily laying off 7,300 employees because of the coronavirus outbreak.
March 5: Company scraps its 2020 earnings guidance and cancels some of its transatlantic flights.
Feb. 13: Norwegian says it will make deeper capacity cuts in 2020 than previously announced as it aims to return to profit after three consecutive years of losses.
Nov. 20: Appoints Jacob Schram as CEO. Schram, who does not have a background in aviation, had worked for consulting company McKinsey among previous roles.
Nov. 5: Raises 2.5 billion Norwegian crowns to meet its cash needs through 2020 with its third share sale in two years and a bond issue.
Sept. 16: Norwegian’s bondholders accept the company’s plea to postpone repayment of $380 million by up to two years. Aug. 19: Agrees to sell its stake in banking company Norwegian Finans Holding for 2.22 billion crowns.
July 11: Co-founder Bjoern Kjos steps down as CEO.
April 10: Norwegian postpones Airbus plane deliveries scheduled for 2019 and 2020, cutting its capital spending by $570 million.
March 12: Norwegian grounds its Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets after a fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX.
Feb. 18-19: Norwegian announces deep-discount share issue at only a third of the market price.
Jan. 24: International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways, says it will not make a bid for Norwegian and will sell its stake in the company.
May 4: Board confirms that it has received two separate conditional proposals from IAG Group in relation to an acquisition of 100% of its share capital.
March 21: Norwegian raises 1.3 billion crowns in a share sale to help to fund its expansion and cope with higher fuel costs after warning of a larger than expected loss in the quarter.
July 17: Norwegian’s first flight using the Boeing 737 MAX takes off from Edinburgh.
Oct. 22: Norwegian orders 19 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, more than quadrupling its long-haul fleet.
May 30: Norwegian’s first intercontinental flight departs from Oslo to New York.
Jan. 25: Norwegian orders 122 planes from Boeing, 100 of which are Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets. The airline also enters agreement with Airbus about buying 100 Airbus A320neo jets. In total, the planes are worth 127 billion Norwegian crowns.
Feb. 8: Norwegian becomes the first airline to offer free WiFi on European flights.
April 24: Norwegian buys FlyNordic from Finnair and becomes the biggest low-cost airline in Scandinavia.
Dec. 18: Norwegian shares are listed on Oslo Stock Exchange.
Sept. 1: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS) rebrands as Norwegian and starts operating with Boeing 737-300 planes.
Jan. 22: Norwegian Air Shuttle is founded and takes over regional airline services on Norway’s West Coast. Flights are operated in cooperation with Norwegian airline Braathens. NAS initially operates with a fleet of three leased Fokker 50.
© Reuters, aero.uk | Image: Norwegian Air, Creative Commons | 22/11/2020 10:00