Editor’s note: The following is a transcript of the accompanying video. ©2021 Thomson Reuters.
Europe’s airlines are feeling a bit more hopeful. Norwegian Air said Tuesday [31 August] that it expected bookings to rise in the coming months as the region reopens to travel.
Though it was still unable to give any financial outlook for 2021, citing continued uncertainty.
Norwegian emerged from the crisis a shadow of its former self. The airline cut its fleet by two-thirds and saw creditors take control. Right now, it’s down to just 51 planes. But the firm says they will be fully utilised by the end of the year, and hopes to start growing its fleet again in 2022.
For the first half of this year, Norwegian reported revenue of just over $68 million — less than a tenth of the figure this time last year. Meanwhile, Lufthansa says its cash flow will turn positive again this summer. And the German giant says it should be possible to fully unwind a government rescue package in a year’s time.
In 2020 Berlin was forced to take a 20% stake in the carrier as part of a $7.1 billion bailout. Last week Germany’s economic stabilisation fund said it would start selling down the stake in the coming weeks. It aims to dispose of it fully by the end of 2023.