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Norwegian Air Posts $1.5 Billion Impairment Loss Amid Restructuring

Norwegian, which is negotiating terms with lessors so as to cut its fleet to 53 aircraft from 140 earlier, said its fleet had shrunk to 131 by the end of 2020.

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Norwegian Air said on Friday it had booked an impairment loss of 12.8 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.50 billion) in the fourth quarter related to owned and leased aircraft as well as pre-delivery payments on terminated aircraft orders.

The company said its examinership process in Ireland and reconstruction process in Norway were progressing as planned and expected to end during the second quarter.

Late last year the budget airline received protection from bankruptcy in both Norway and Ireland, where most of its assets are registered, and aims to emerge from the process with fewer aircraft and less debt.

Norwegian, which is negotiating terms with lessors so as to cut its fleet to 53 aircraft from 140 earlier, said its fleet had shrunk to 131 by the end of 2020.

"We are doing everything we can to emerge as a more financially secure and competitive airline with an improved customer offering," Chief Executive Jacob Schram said.

"As soon as Europe begins to reopen, we will be ready to welcome more customers on board."

Norwegian plans to end its long-haul service and focus on the Nordic and European network.

It hopes to cut debt to about 20 billion crowns and raise 4 billion to 5 billion from new shares and hybrid capital, with Norway's government already agreeing to back it with 1.5 billion.

(Reuters)