Future of Norwegian uncertain as government denies further aid
The government of Norway has announced that Norwegian will not receive further financial support.
With the low-cost carrier having previously stated further aid was necessary to maintain operations throughout the Covid-19 crisis, the future of the airline has been thrown into doubt.
The company is now facing a very uncertain future, a statement said.
“First of all, I would like to thank of our customers, colleagues, the Norwegian parliament, shareholders, leasing companies, creditors, bondholders, the travel industry and all others who have been supporting Norwegian in these challenging times.
“The fact that our government has decided to refrain from providing Norwegian with further financial support is very disappointing and feels like a slap in the face for everybody at Norwegian who is fighting for the company when our competitors are receiving billions in funding from their respective governments,” said Norwegian chief executive, Jacob Schram.
Norwegian has 2,300 employees in Norway and several thousand colleagues in other countries.
“It will take time and it will have consequences for the competitive situation in Norway, like we have seen before.
“We also notice that airlines across the world that are also dependent on support to survive, are receiving billions from their respective authorities.
“Based on the number of tourists we fly to Norway; we contribute to sustaining 24,000 people in our country and boost the local economy by approximately NOK18 billion per year.
“That alone clearly demonstrates that even moderate financial support, would constitute a profitable investment for Norway. How anyone could come to a different conclusion is impossible to understand.
“The local travel industry and businesses have again and again emphasised the importance of Norwegian’s route network.
“I recently visited all of our four bases in Norway and also met with local politicians and businesses,” said Schram.