Norwegian Air’s money disaster might pressure the debt-laden finances airline to halt operations early subsequent yr, the corporate warned because it issued one other plea for rescue funding after reporting quarterly outcomes on Tuesday.
The fast growth of the pioneer in low-fare transatlantic flights has left it with heavy money owed and issues which were compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is now serving home routes solely, with simply six of its 140 plane flying.
“Norwegian is dependent on additional working capital in order to continue operating through the first quarter of 2021 and beyond,” the provider mentioned.
The firm held money and money equivalents of three.Four billion kroner ($380m) on the finish of September, down from 4.98 billion kroner ($550m) three months earlier.
Its newest plea comes after Norway’s authorities on Monday rejected requires extra state help for the airline, the shares of which have misplaced 99 % of their worth since January, saying it will be too dangerous.
Following that rejection, the corporate mentioned late on Monday that it will furlough 1,600 extra workers, leaving solely 600 folks nonetheless understanding of its complete 10,000 employees earlier than the pandemic.
In an additional signal that Norwegian is operating out of time, the board consultant of its greatest shareholder – leasing firm AerCap Holdings – resigned on Tuesday.
Anton Joiner was Norwegian Air’s deputy chairman of the board and had been elected in June. The airline didn’t disclose the rationale for his resignation and an AerCap spokeswoman had no instant remark.
AerCap owned a 13.Four % stake within the airline on the finish of September.
After Oslo’s support refusal, the grim quarterly numbers level to a possible collapse, mentioned Bernstein analyst Daniel Roeska, who added, “It’s not a pretty picture.”
Roeska additionally mentioned that credit score from the airline’s suppliers is prone to dry up quickly.
“This could cause a liquidity crunch in the very near term and we see few ways out for the group,” he added.
Despite such pessimistic assessments, the corporate mentioned that funding might probably come from debt refinancing, a sale of plane and different belongings, a conversion of debt to fairness or within the type of cash from its homeowners.
However, plane leasing corporations that personal greater than half of the airline after swapping earlier money owed for fairness are unlikely to place in any new money, a supply near one of many companies mentioned.
“Norwegian was a credit red light for lessors even before COVID,” mentioned the supply, including that they joined the rescue initially as a result of liquidation would have saved just a few cents on every greenback owed and it will have needed to promote plane in a market that was strained even earlier than the coronavirus disaster.
“Norwegian was getting a friendly ear because it would have meant a glut of 787s,” the supply mentioned. “But that’s become nearly irrelevant. 787s, 737s, A320s – they’re all on the ground now.”
The firm’s third-quarter working loss stood at 2.eight billion kroner, down from a three billion-kroner ($330m) revenue in the identical interval final yr, with total debt and liabilities of 66.eight billion kroner ($7.4bn).
With solely six of its 140 plane now working, down from 21 final month, most of Norweigian Air’s short-haul planes are grounded alongside its total fleet of 37 Boeing 787 Dreamliners.