Norwegian Air Gets Government Backing for Survival Plan

Norway backed Norwegian Air’s survival plan on Thursday as Industry Minister Iselin Nyboe said that the government had no intention of being a shareholder but would stump up cash if private investors did too, Reuters reported. The heavily indebted budget carrier, which has been forced to ground all but six of its 138 aircraft due to the coronavirus crisis, asked the government for help last week. Norwegian was granted bankruptcy protection by courts in Ireland and Norway last year as it seeks to shed much of its debt. It plans to end its long-haul service. “The government’s support significantly increases our chances of raising new capital and getting us through the reconstruction process,” Norwegian Chief Executive Jacob Schram said in a statement. Norwegian’s share price, which has plunged 98% in the last 12 months, were up 12% by 0932 GMT on Thursday. The government’s participation, in the form of a hybrid loan, will be dependent on private investors taking part in a planned share issue, Nyboe said. Read more.