Norwegian pins hope on second round of funding as passenger numbers drop 91%

Norwegian ©AirTeamImages

Norwegian Air Shuttle (Norwegian), Norway’s flag-carrying airline, posted passenger numbers for August 2020 which reveal a 91% drop compared to the same period last year, 313,316 as opposed to 3.5 million, respectively, while the majority of its fleet remains grounded. Currently the airline has plans to operate between 25 and 30 of its planes, leaving the remaining 100 parked up, as a direct consequence of the fall in demand for air travel resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Back in May, creditors and lessors took control of the airline in order to instigate a rescue package which amounted to some 3 billion Norwegian crowns (US$336 million) of state-guaranteed loans. By the end of the year Norwegian hopes to have completed a much-needed second round of financing that will see the carrier extend operations beyond April, when the current funding runs out, while further discussions are taking place with the Norwegian government with regard to additional support.

Despite the number of flights currently being operated, passenger numbers have remained critically low owing to an average 62.1% of seats being filled on flights, as opposed to a pre-pandemic figure of 90%. Headquartered in Fornebu, Norwegian is Europe’s fourth-largest low-cost carrier and operates Norwegian Air International, Norwegian Air Norway, Norwegian Air Sweden, Norwegian Air UK and Norwegian Long Haul as subsidiaries.

Email Post to a Friend Email Post to a Friend