Norwegian Air has secured the first cash portion as part of a government-led rescue package, the airline announced.

    Two Nordic banks have agreed to contribute the 10 per cent required in guarantee for the first tranche and to provide the NOK 300 million in financing backed by the guarantee from the Norwegian Government.

    Last Thursday (19 March), the Norwegian Government proposed a guarantee of NOK 6 billion for the Norwegian airline industry, of which up to NOK 3 billion is directed to Norwegian Air.

    The guarantee will be up to 90 per cent from the Norwegian Government, provided that financial institutions contribute with the remaining 10 per cent.

    The majority of Norwegian’s fleet has been grounded and the company has reduced its operations to a minimum.

    Norwegian will now primarily operate domestically in Norway and Sweden and between the Nordic capitals, “in order to deliver on its corporate responsibility of maintaining critical infrastructure so that people and necessary goods and medical supplies can be transported during this unprecedented crisis”. The airline limited schedule will remain in place until further notice.

    Norwegian has temporarily laid off more than 7,300 staff in total which equates to approximately 90 per cent of its workforce, which includes pilots, cabin crew, maintenance and administrative staff. The company has said that it will “continue to implement additional cost measures going forward”.

    Norwegian is currently conducting repatriation flights together with the authorities in order to get citizens of Norway, Denmark and Sweden back home.

    Visit gov.uk for the latest coronavirus travel updates.