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Published on Monday, November 9, 2020

Norwegian future 'uncertain' after Govt turns back on airline

Norwegian has said its future is on the line after the government refused any further financial help for the stricken airline.

The carrier said it will do 'everything in its power' to keep trading but warned it faces 'a very uncertain future'.

The grim outlook came as the Norwegian Government said it could not justify more aid to prop up the airline.

"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.

Norwegian Chief Executive Jacob Schram described the lack of support as 'very disappointing'.

"[It] feels like a slap in the face for everybody at Norwegian who is fighting for the company when our competitors are receiving billions in funding from their respective governments," he said.

"We are called Norwegian. We are Norwegian. We are a part of Norway and Norway is a part of us. This is the way it has been for almost 20 years.

"We also notice that airlines across the world that are also dependent on support to survive, are receiving billions from their respective authorities.

"Based on the number of tourists we fly to Norway, we contribute to sustaining 24,000 people in our country and boost the local economy by approximately 18 billion NOK per year.

"That alone clearly demonstrates that even moderate financial support, would constitute a profitable investment for Norway.

"How anyone could come to a different conclusion is impossible to understand. The local travel industry and businesses have again and again emphasized the importance of Norwegian's route network."

With further support, the airline could navigate the crisis and 'come out as a more sustainable and competitive airline', Schram said.

"Without support, the way forward has become much more uncertain. However, we will do whatever we can get through this crisis."

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