The coronavirus crisis has already taken the life of a few airlines who had been struggling before the beginning of the pandemic, namely South African Airways, Flybe and Virgin Australia. It now looks like Norwegian Air will be the next airline to follow this fate after four of its staffing units in Denmark and Sweeden have filed for bankruptcy. The affected subsidiaries are Norwegian Pilot Services Sweden AB, Norwegian Pilot Services Denmark ApS, Norwegian Cabin Services Denmark ApS, and Norwegian Air Resources Denmark LH ApS. Additionally, the carrier has canceled crew provision agreements with OSM Aviation, which had crew bases in Spain, the UK, the US, Finland, and Sweden. In total, 4,705 of the airline’s employees will be affected, including pilots and cabin crew. Those based in France, Italy, and Norway will, however, not be affected by today’s announcement.
Norwegian was founded in 1993 and has since grown into an international carrier, pioneering in the low-cost long-haul industry. Jacob Shram, the airline’s CEO, stated that the crisis which the aviation sector is undergoing is unprecedented, regretting the decision that the airline has had to make. Shram also mentioned that the airline had done everything in its power to avoid having to take this decision, including asking the Sweedish and Danish government for help, both of which did not grant it. The CEO ended by saying that they are working hard to surpass the coronavirus crisis and come back as a “stronger Norwegian to bring as many colleagues back in the air as possible. The company, which had already been affected by the Boeing 737 MAX issues before the crisis, is currently working on trying to raise money from shareholders as well as converting debt to equity to qualify for state guarantees from Norway’s government. Norwegian’s shares dropped by more than 8% today after the announcement.