The move is the next stage in a plan to slim down the airline and return it to profitability after Norwegian was granted interim protection from creditors by the Irish courts on 18 November. It sought protection in Ireland because its aircraft assets are registered there.
The Irish courts have now moved this process on, making the airline subject to “examinership”, which Norwegian describes as “the cornerstone of the reorganisation plan”.
Immediately following this, Norwegian then filed for a “supplementary reconstruction process” in Norway. The carrier said that, if granted, this process would enhance the outcome of the Irish process with a view to resize its balance sheet.
“The dual-track process will be coordinated by the company and will not have an impact on the current business. The company will continue to operate its route network. Both its bonds and shares will continue to trade as normal on the Oslo Stock Exchange,” the airline said in a market statement.
Norwegian has grounded most of its fleet and is only serving domestic routes in its home country.
Norwegian chief executive Jacob Schram added: “A supplementary reconstruction process under Norwegian law will be to the benefit of all parties and will increase the likelihood of a successful result.
“Our aim is to secure jobs in the company and to contribute to securing critical infrastructure and value creation in Norway.
“We will now concentrate on working towards our goal of reducing company debt, reducing the size of our aircraft fleet, and ensuring that we are a company that investors will find attractive. We will be ready to meet the competition for customers after the Covid-19 pandemic.”