Norwegian Air Reports 91% Fall In Traffic Amid Search For More Cash
Norwegian Air, which is attempting to secure a second round of financial restructuring, has said that it experienced a 91% year-on-year decline in passenger volume in August as most of its fleet remained grounded due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The budget carrier has said that it will fly 25-30 of its aircraft in the months ahead, while more than 100 remain parked.
Creditors and lessors took control of Norwegian in May with a financial rescue that allowed it to access state-guaranteed loans of three billion Norwegian crowns and thus prevent a collapse.
The company said last week that it hopes to complete a second refinancing by year-end to avoid running out of funds by April of 2021, and it is also in talks with Norway's government over additional support.
"The prolonged crisis that has impacted every part of the aviation industry continues to create uncertainty in all markets, making the need for a long-term liquidity support package even more critical to protect tourism, jobs and international trade," Norwegian Air CEO Jacob Schram said.
Funding could come from the sale of aircraft, conversion of more debt to equity or from owners and the Norwegian government, the company said on August 28 while declining to specify the amount that it might seek.
The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) has scheduled a meeting with the Norwegian government next week to discuss the needs of airlines such as Norwegian and local rivals SAS and Wideroe.
Passenger Numbers And Seat Statistics
Norwegian flew 313,316 passengers in August of this year. In August of 2019, it flew 3.5 million passengers.
Only 62.1% of its seats were filled on average in August of this year, down from 90% a year earlier, Norwegian said.
With its transatlantic business on hold and European routes limited, much of Norwegian's business is currently concentrated on Norway, Sweden and Denmark.