Norwegian Air has sent its financial reconstruction plan, which would see the carrier greatly reduce its debt and slim its fleet, to creditors and shareholders as it continues to seek to put in place the necessary foundations to survive the Covid crisis.
If approved by courts in Ireland and Norway over the coming weeks, it will allow Norwegian to raise fresh funding as early as next month and emerge from the bankruptcy protection it sought in Ireland last year, with a view to completing the process in May.
"We have had many constructive and challenging negotiations with creditors since the indicative plan was presented on 14 January," said Norwegian chief executive Jacob Schram.
"The examiner in Ireland and the reconstructor in Norway both believe this plan is in the interest of the creditors and shareholders of the company.
"This is an important milestone in the process of securing Norwegian’s future," Schram added.
The examiner will now present Norwegian’s formal restructuring proposal to the Irish high court, which includes how existing and new creditors and shareholders will be involved in the reconstruction.
Geir Karlsen, Norwegian chief financial officer, said: “It is hoped the Irish high court will make their final decision within the next couple of weeks. If approved, the plan will be dealt within the reconstruction process in Norway. If everything goes according to plan, we will be able to carry out the capital raise in May."
Karlsen, though, admitted it might not be possible to meet all outstanding claims for refunds owing to the process.
The carrier said it had sought to find solutions to refund a "small share of customers" with claims from prior to Norwegian entering examinership on 18 November last year.
"Approximately 98% of refund claims booked directly with Norwegian were refunded before the commencement of the reconstruction process," said the airline.
"Despite discussions with the examiner and reconstructor, it has unfortunately proven impossible to allow the reimbursement of the outstanding refund claims to customers due to the principles of the restructuring processes."
Karlsen added: "We have wanted to ensure full refunding of outstanding claims throughout the reconstruction, and we are sorry that this will not be possible."