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Norwegian completes restructuring and secures state aid

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It should be seen as a positive step forward, but for thousands of staff who lost their jobs there is still a lot of uncertainty over future roles.

Airline Norwegian has confirmed that a restructuring plan they undertook has now completed and that the state loan guarantee of in total NOK 3 billion (£245M) has been approved. The company has now converted NOK 12.7 billion (£1.03B) of debt to equity and laid a solid foundation for the future, although the next months will remain challenging.

CEO Jacob Schram said:

“I want to thank everyone who has supported the company during this unprecedented crisis that has affected the entire the airline industry: The Government and Parliament; customers; employees: shareholders; leasing companies; creditors; bondholders, the travel industry and other Norwegian supporters.

Now that we can access the state loan guarantee, we can continue to transform the company. Through this process, the belief in New Norwegian and the company’s strategy have been confirmed by shareholders, the market, bondholders, leasing companies, other creditors and lenders. Nevertheless, the months ahead will remain challenging and with a high degree of uncertainty for the industry. Norwegian will still need to collaborate closely with a number of creditors as the company currently has limited revenue.”.

Since the end of 2018, Norwegian has taken significant actions to restructure its operations and return to profitability. The company was on the path to deliver a positive net profit in 2020, and this summer was set to be the strongest in the company’s history. Instead, the coronavirus outbreak and global travel restrictions has led to a substantial drop in demand.

The Company has seized this time as an opportunity to restructure and develop a new strategy and business plan – New Norwegian – for a strengthened airline to re-emerge when travel restrictions are lifted and demand returns.

Schram added:

“In addition to securing that the company survives this crisis, our goal has been that Norwegian should have a strong position in the future airline industry, with a clear direction and strategy. This will ensure sustainable operations and a structure that will be to the benefit of both shareholders, customers and colleagues.”

Coronavirus

easyJet to resume flying from Gatwick in June

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easyJet is to resume flights in and out of Gatwick Airport from the 15th June.

The airline says that they will continue to open routes provided there is demand for the service from customers.

The routes that will open from the 15th June from and to Gatwick are:

UK

  • Belfast
  • Edinburgh
  • Glasgow
  • Inverness
  • Isle of Man

France

  • Nice

The airline is introducing new measures to help ensure safety and wellbeing and is including enhanced aircraft cleaning and disinfection and requirement for passengers and crew to wear masks.

In addition customers, cabin and ground crew will be required to wear masks; there will also initially be no food service onboard flights, all of which operate on a short-haul network.

easyJet say the measures have been implemented in consultation with aviation authorities ICAO and EASA, and in line with relevant national authorities and medical advice through the airline’s chief medical adviser.

Johan Lundgren, CEO of easyJet, commented:

“I am really pleased that we will be returning to some flying in the middle of June. These are small and carefully planned steps that we are taking to resume operations. We will continue to closely monitor the situation across Europe so that when more restrictions are lifted the schedule will continue to build over time to match demand while also ensuring we are operating efficiently and on routes that our customers want to fly.

“The safety and wellbeing of our customers and crew remains our highest priority which is why we are implementing a number of measures enhancing safety at each part of the journey from disinfecting the aircraft to requiring customers and crew to wear masks. These measures will remain in place for as long as is needed to ensure customers and crew are able to fly safely as the world continues to recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We look forward to welcoming our customers back onboard in June.”

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