Norwegian Air moves some of its aircraft, among which is at least six Boeing 787 Dreamliners, to Shannon airport ahead of repossession by Irish lessors. The air carrier has begun cutting its fleet ahead of the restructuring process under Norwegian law in order to enhance the Irish examinership.
Norwegian Air, a low-cost airline which the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to its knees, began ferrying its aircraft from Scandinavian bases to Ireland, preparing to return them to lessors.
Since mid-December 2020, Norwegian Air has been moving aircraft to Shannon Airport (SNN) with an aim to prepare the aircraft for returning them back to its Irish lessors that supply the majority of the fleet. The ongoing plane relocation comes as a part of Norwegian Air’s restructuring process. The airline has unpaid debt liabilities to lessors reaching up to €4 billion.
The airline has already moved 6 Boeing 787 Dreamliners to SNN airport from its bases in Oslo and Stavanger, the Planespotters.net data shows. All six planes, registered as LN-LNF, G-CKOF, G-CKWB, G-CKWE, LN-LNO, and LN-LNR, were previously operating on Norwegian Air long-haul routes. The aircraft belong to the Irish leasing company AeroCap.
Some Irish leasing companies use SNN as a base for aircraft maintenance and preparation processes when aircraft are transferred from one lessee to another.
Norwegian Air started moving some of its planes to SNN airport following the Irish High Court decision to grant the airline creditor protection which gave Norwegian Air time to continue on the restructuring of its debts.
However, not the whole Norwegian Air fleet is necessarily involved in the ongoing aircraft relocation. The airline is likely to move 72 planes that were leased by the Ireland-registered lessors and take part in the airline examinership process. Another part of the fleet, consisting of 124 planes, is held by other entities that are not involved in the examinership.
The High Court of Ireland confirmed the appointment of Kieran Wallace, the examiner of Norwegian Air, on December 7, 2020.