Low cost airline Norwegian has registered a loss of 14.9 billion Norwegian kroner for 2020, a year in which the company saw a drastic reduction in passenger numbers and was on the brink of bankruptcy.
The company published its annual results on Friday, revealing the huge operating loss.
Norwegian’s 2019 result, a loss of around 1.7 billion kroner, had put the company in a difficult position even prior to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The coronavirus outbreak and its consequent travel restrictions reduced the company’s passenger numbers to 6.9 million in 2020. That is 29 million fewer than in 2019.
Not all of the loss is due to fewer passengers. Around half of the company’s devaluation is attributed to a depreciation of the value of its aircraft fleet, news wire Ritzau reports.
“2020 was an exceptionally demanding year for air travel and for Norwegian,” CEO Jacob Schram said in a statement on the annual results.
“In light of that, the result for the fourth quarter (of 2020) is not surprising. Unfortunately, the majority of our employees are furloughed and many have lost their jobs – in part because of the closure of long distance services,” he added.
The company was already in debt prior to the pandemic and is now under bankruptcy protection in Ireland and is undergoing similar process in Norway.