Norway government says will not give more support to Norwegian Air

FILE PHOTO: Norwegian Air Sweden Boeing 737-800 plane SE-RRJ approaches Riga International Airport in Riga, Latvia January 17, 2020. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

OSLO (Reuters) – The Norwegian government will not provide additional financial support for Norwegian Air NORR.OL, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, the Industry Ministry and the Ministry of Transportation said in a statement on Monday.

Norwegian Air, which has grounded most of its fleet, said in late August it would run out of cash in the first quarter of 2021 unless it could secure fresh funds, and has held talks with the government in the hope of winning support.

Creditors and lessors took control of the airline in May with a financial rescue that allowed it to access state-guaranteed loans of 3 billion Norwegian crowns ($329 million) and thus prevent a collapse.

“Norwegian Air has asked for billions of crowns in additional support, and the government has concluded that this would not be a responsible use of public funds,” Industry Minister Iselin Nyboe said.

The company has said more funding could come from the sale of aircraft, conversion of more debt to equity or from owners and the Norwegian government, while declining to specify the amount it might seek.

($1 = 9.1185 Norwegian crowns)

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