OSLO (Reuters) – Budget airline Norwegian Air is asking bondholders to extend the maturity of its debt by up to two years, pledging take-off and landing slots at London Gatwick Airport as security, it said in Monday.

The company is Europe’s third-largest budget carrier by passenger numbers after Ryanair and easyJet and has shaken up the market with cut-price transatlantic fares, but its rapid expansion has left it with hefty losses and high debt.

It was forced it to seek 3 billion crowns ($335 million) from shareholders this year.

Its bonds, which mature in December 2019 and August 2020 with a combined outstanding amount of $380 million, would be extended to November 2021 and February 2022 if bondholders accept the revised terms.

“Norwegian’s Gatwick portfolio currently consists of take-off and landing slots which has an independent valuation from a well-reputed third-party in excess of the current nominal bond value,” Norwegian said in a statement.

Negotiations are still ongoing to bring in an outside investor to take a stake in parts of its aircraft fleet, it added.

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By Ian Dei

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