Norwegian Air Shareholders Back Restructuring Plan


OSLO, Dec 17 Reuters Norwegian Airs shareholders endorsed the carriers financial rescue plan in a series of votes on Thursday, the airline said, one of several hurdles the company must clear to survive the COVID19 pandemic.

Norwegian faces difficult negotiations with creditors in the coming months as it seeks to reduce its debt and liabilities of some 66.8 billion crowns 7.75 billion. It must also find investors and lenders willing to put up fresh cash.

The airline obtained creditor protection this month from courts in Norway and Ireland, giving it some breathing space as it seeks to convert debt into equity.

The company aims, with the help of the courts, to emerge by Feb. 26 as a smaller but more efficient carrier with fewer aircraft, less debt and more equity.

More than 80 of Norwegians owners voted in favour of letting the board raise up to 4 billion Norwegian crowns from a sale of shares or hybrid instruments.

If it fails, Norwegian has said it could run out of cash by the end of March.

The company, which helped transform transatlantic travel by expanding the European budget airline business model to longerhaul destinations, has been forced to ground all but six of its 140 aircraft amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The way the situation looks now, Norwegian will start to ramp up production from around April next year, business web site E24 quoted Chief Financial Officer Geir Karlsen as saying.

Major creditors include aircraft lessors Aercap and BOC Aviation,…

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