Having grown rapidly to become Europe’s third-largest low-cost airline and one of the few to apply the budget model to transatlantic flights, Norwegian Air is fighting for its survival.
On Monday, Ireland’s High Court granted creditor protection to the airline’s Irish subsidiaries, allowing it time to restructure its massive debt.
Following are key dates in the company’s 27-year history.
Dec. 3: Norwegian Air proposes to convert debt to equity, offload planes and sell new shares in an attempt to survive the COVID-19 pandemic, aiming to raise up to 4 billion crowns ($452 million) from the sale of new shares or hybrid instruments.
Nov. 24: The Norwegian government extends the duration of pandemic-related loan guarantees given to airlines but does not make additional funds available to Norwegian Air.
Nov. 18: The airline asks an Irish court to oversee a restructuring of its debt. The company opted for an Irish process since its aircraft assets are held in Ireland.
Nov. 10: Norwegian Air says its cash crisis could force the airline to halt operations early in 2021.
Nov. 9: The Norwegian government says it will not provide additional financial support for the cash-strapped carrier.
Aug. 28: Norwegian Air says it will need to secure funding this year for the next 18 months or more to see it through the COVID-19 pandemic after reporting first-half losses of $610 million.
May 18: Norwegian Air completes a cut-price share sale and wins bondholders’ backing for a refinancing, allowing it to continue operating with a slimmed-down schedule.
March 24: The airline receives an initial government cash injection of 300 million Norwegian crowns ($33 million).
March 16: Norwegian says it is cancelling 85% of its flights and temporarily laying off 7,300 employees because of the coronavirus outbreak.
March 5: Company scraps its 2020 earnings guidance and cancels some of its transatlantic flights.
Feb. 13: Norwegian says it will make deeper capacity cuts in 2020 than previously announced as it aims to return to profit after three consecutive years of losses.
Nov. 20: Appoints Jacob Schram as CEO. Schram, who does not have a background in aviation, had worked for consulting company McKinsey among previous roles.
Nov. 5: Raises 2.5 billion Norwegian crowns to meet its cash needs through 2020 with its third share sale in two years and a bond issue.
Sept. 16: Norwegian’s bondholders accept the company’s plea to postpone repayment of $380 million by up to two years. Aug. 19: Agrees to sell its stake in banking company Norwegian Finans Holding for 2.22 billion crowns.
July 11: Co-founder Bjoern Kjos steps down as CEO.
April 10: Norwegian postpones Airbus plane deliveries scheduled for 2019 and 2020, cutting its capital spending by $570 million.
March 12: Norwegian grounds its Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets after a fatal crash of an Ethiopian Airlines 737 MAX.
Feb. 18-19: Norwegian announces share issue at only a third of the market price.
Jan. 24: International Consolidated Airlines Group (IAG), the owner of British Airways, says it will not make a bid for Norwegian and will sell its stake in the company.
May 4: Board confirms it has received two separate conditional proposals from IAG Group in relation to an acquisition of 100% of its share capital.
March 21: Norwegian raises 1.3 billion crowns in a share sale to help to fund its expansion and cope with higher fuel costs after warning of a larger than expected quarterly loss.
July 17: Norwegian’s first flight using the Boeing 737 MAX takes off from Edinburgh.
Oct. 22: Norwegian orders 19 Boeing 787-9 Dreamliners, more than quadrupling its long-haul fleet.
May 30: Norwegian’s first intercontinental flight departs from Oslo to New York.
Jan. 25: Norwegian orders 122 planes from Boeing, 100 of which are Boeing 737 MAX 8 jets. The airline also enters an agreement with Airbus about buying 100 Airbus A320neo jets. In total, the planes are worth 127 billion Norwegian crowns.
Feb. 8: Norwegian becomes the first airline to offer free WiFi on European flights.
April 24: Norwegian buys FlyNordic from Finnair and becomes the biggest low-cost airline in Scandinavia.
Dec. 18: Norwegian shares are listed on Oslo Stock Exchange.
Sept. 1: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS) rebrands as Norwegian and starts operating with Boeing 737-300 planes.
Jan. 22: Norwegian Air Shuttle (NAS) is founded and takes over regional airline services on Norway’s West Coast. Flights are operated in cooperation with Norwegian airline Braathens. NAS initially operates with a fleet of three leased Fokker 50. ($1 = 8.8447 Norwegian crowns)