Norwegian Air Shuttle braces for air travel demand surge
Although in April 2021 Norwegian Air Shuttle traffic levels remained heavily affected by the governmental air travel restrictions, Chief Executive Officer Jacob Schram predicted that the airline would see a resurgence in demand for air travel as soon as Europe reopened its borders.
On May 6, 2021, Norwegian Air Shuttle released its traffic figures for April 2021. The data showed that the traffic levels were still significantly impacted by air travel restrictions.
The airline operated 10 aircraft, mainly on domestic routes, and flew 59,431 passengers in April 2021. In comparison to April 2020, Norwegian’s capacity fell by 7% but both passenger traffic and load factors grew ‒ by 115% and 24% respectively. The load factor reached a bit more than 42% in April 2021.
Despite still low traffic levels in April 2021, speaking to local media, Schram expressed his confidence that air travel demand would revive when Norway and European countries eased the restrictions. The executive outlined that Norwegian Air would adjust its operations depending on demand.
“The pandemic and international travel restrictions continue to impact our traffic results when compared to the same period last year despite the percentage increases. [...] However, as the reopening of borders in Norway and across Europe progresses, we are confident that we will continue to see a gradual increase in year-on-year traffic,“ Schram said.
While seeking to emerge from bankruptcy protection in Norway and Ireland by May 26, 2021, Norwegian Air Shuttle set out a plan to raise around $725 million (NOK6 billion) in fresh capital as a part of its restructuring plan. Under a new plan, the airline expected to have a cash holding of $725 million (NOK6 billion) by the end of May 2021, including proceedings from new capital perpetual bonds, a rights issue, and a private placement of new shares.
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