The Norwegian airline is significantly reducing its fleet. She removes the long haul completely from the program. Norwegian hopes to persuade the state to get involved.
Low-cost airlines and long-haul flights - can they work together? On this controversial issue, Norwegian has long been seen as an example that this combination is not doomed to fail. But now the ailing airline is ending the chapter on transatlantic flights.
For the current winter, Norwegian had already withdrawn in view of the Corona crisis. On Thursday (January 14th) the airline announced that it would focus on short-haul routes with Norwegian domestic routes as well as routes to other Nordic countries and important European destinations. This is “the basis for a future-proof business model,” said Norwegian boss Jacob Schram.
“Long-haul operation not profitable”
Norwegian wants to use only 50 planes in the current year from its fleet, which is around 140 aircraft strong on paper. That’s about as many as the German vacation airline Condor owns, active plus currently parked copies.
Norwegian’s 50 jets will be Boeing 737s, some of which it owns and some of which are leased. 20 more short and medium-haul flights are to be added in 2022. Under the circumstances of the Corona crisis and the uncertain prospects, “long-haul operations for Norwegian are not profitable,” according to the airline. «This operation will not continue».
Many open orders from Boeing and Airbus
The airline emphasizes that all of their Boeing 787s have been on the ground since March 2020. Now one is examining bankruptcies for the companies in Italy, France, Great Britain and the USA, through which long-haul crews are employed.
Norwegian does not comment on what will happen to the many open orders it has with Boeing and Airbus. At the end of 2020, the American manufacturer’s order book for the Norwegians had 92 Boeing 737 Max and five Boeing 787-9s, although Norwegian had already announced a cancellation in summer 2020.
The European aircraft manufacturer had outstanding orders for 58 Airbus A320 Neo and 30 A321 Neo.
Norwegian tries again for state entry
With the focus on a pure short-haul network, Norwegian wants to convince investors.
The debts are expected to drop to 20 billion Norwegian kroner or the equivalent of around 194 million euros. In addition, the airline wants to collect 4 to 5 billion crowns in fresh capital. On the one hand, private investors are interested in getting involved, according to the airline. On the other hand, in light of the new plans, talks about participation with the Norwegian government have started again.
In November 2020, the state had rejected a stake in Norwegian as too risky. If the planned renovation succeeds, the current investors should only hold five percent of the shares in Norwegian. 25 percent is earmarked for creditors for debt relief. And 70 percent should hold new shareholders.
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planes left Norwegian shrinks size Condor
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