Norwegian Air says it could run out of cash in early 2021 By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Passengers board a Norwegian Air plane in Kirkenes

OSLO (Reuters) – Pandemic-hit Norwegian Air (OL:) could run out of cash in the first quarter of 2021 unless it secures fresh funding, the budget carrier said while reporting third-quarter results on Tuesday.

The airline’s cash and cash equivalents stood at 3.4 billion Norwegian crowns ($376.4 million) at the end of September, down from 4.98 billion crowns at the end of June.

“Norwegian is dependent on additional working capital in order to continue operating through the first quarter of 2021 and beyond,” the carrier said in its earnings report for the July-September quarter.

Norway’s government on Monday rejected a plea for more state support, arguing it was too risky, and the company soon after said it would furlough 1,600 more staff, leaving just 600 people still working, down from a pre-pandemic 10,000.

“Our third-quarter results clearly show that the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic continue to heavily impact our operations and financial position,” Norwegian’s Chief Executive Jacob Schram said in a statement on Tuesday.

($1 = 9.0323 Norwegian crowns)

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