Norwegian Air sees rebound in travel end need for more money

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A Norwegian Air plane is refueled at Oslo Airport Gardermoen, Norway, November 7, 2019.REUTERS / Lefteris Karagiannopoulos

  • Low-cost carrier emerged from bankruptcy in May
  • First-half sales down sharply in the context of a pandemic
  • No financial perspective for the rest of 2021

OSLO, Aug.31 (Reuters) – Norwegian Air (NORR.OL) said on Tuesday it would not need to raise more money as the easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions lifted reservations, although the low-cost carrier that emerged from bankruptcy proceedings did not provide a 2021 Outlook.

The pandemic sent the indebted airline bankrupt last year, forcing it to shut down its transatlantic network and cut more than 6,000 jobs to survive. Today it has around 3,000 employees.

The company reported revenue of NKr 591 million ($ 68.3 million) for the first half of 2021 on Tuesday, up from NKr 7.1 billion in the same period a year ago. He said he remained focused on preserving cash flow for the remainder of 2021.

“We will be fully prepared for the peak season (of 2022), so there is no risk today that we will have to go out and get more capital for the foreseeable future,” chief executive Geir told Reuters. Karlsen.

Norwegian emerged from government-backed bankruptcy proceedings in May and saw passenger numbers jump in July, but still less than a fifth of those who flew in the same time two years ago.

Bookings have increased in response to the easing of travel restrictions and the rollout of vaccines, Norwegian said, adding that it expects a further increase in the second quarter of 2022, when vacation travel is expected to resume.

The current fleet of 51 planes, up from around 160 last year, would likely be fully utilized by the end of the year, up from less than 10 planes flown in April and May, the company said. It aims to expand to between 60 and 70 aircraft in 2022.

Norwegian’s debt was reduced by around 80% during rebuilding when creditors took control, but the company now faces new competition from Flyr (FLYR-ME.OL) on domestic routes in Norway and on certain foreign destinations.

“Given the continued uncertainty and the continued impact on the overall demand for air travel due to COVID-19, Norwegian is not providing guidance for 2021,” the board said.

Norwegian shares rose 0.2% at 08:25 GMT, slightly behind a 0.3% rise in the Oslo benchmark (.OSEBX).

($ 1 = 8.6535 Norwegian crowns)

Editing by Gwladys Fouché and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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