Troubled airline Norwegian is reportedly in talks about a nationalisation rescue plan after its government put forward the idea.
Norway’s government is considering taking a temporary stake in the carrier to see it through the Covid crisis, according to local press reports.
The Norwegian government is thought to be sympathetic to the airline’s plight, as the country is oil-rich and not bound by EU regulations on state bailouts of airlines.
The Norwegian state was a co-owner of SAS for several decades with Sweden and Denmark, but sold its investment in 2018.
Norwegian revealed first half losses of £425 million last month and a 71% drop in passenger numbers. It warned that an earlier $340 million loan guarantee from Norway’s government was unlikely to get it through the winter.
Chief executive Jacob Schram said: “We are thankful for the loan guarantee made available to us by the Norwegian government which we worked hard to obtain. However, given the current market conditions it is not enough to get through this prolonged crisis.”
A Norwegian spokesman said, “We have previously openly stated that we are in talks with the Norwegian government” – but declined to comment further.