16 NOVEMBER 2020
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Only in charge since the characteristic founder Bjørn Kjos stepped down in July 2019, Norwegian’s CEO Jacob Schram has warned the carrier is facing “a very uncertain future,” as the Government of Norway indicated that it will not provide further financial support to the low-cost carrier.
Earlier this year the airline said it had gained access to NOK3bn (£256m) in state guaranteed loans, but following the reporting of first half losses of NOK5.3bn (£452m) in August, Schram warned that more support would be needed.
At the present time the majority of its fleet is grounded with the large Gatwick base closed. With its various subsidiaries the Norwegian fleet includes 24 Boeing Dreamliners and also grounded 15 Boeing Max.
BTN paraphrases a forthright statement from Mr Schram: 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.
He emphasised the importance of the airline to Norway: “We offer routes from Kristiansand in the south to Svalbard in the north, routes that cannot be replaced overnight. 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.
“Without support, the way forward has become much more uncertain!”
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