MIAMI — British Airways owner IAG will no longer submit a bid for ailing carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle, the airline group said on Thursday.
IAG currently holds a 3.93% stake in the low-cost carrier but has revealed that it will also sell its remaining stake in the company.
This latest news comes as a major blow to Norwegian as it seeks to curb its growing losses.
In a public statement, IAG said that it “does not intend to make an offer for Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA and that, in due course, it will be selling its 3.93% shareholding in Norwegian.”
Last week, the carrier announced it would close its Boeing 737 bases in Palma De Mallorca, Gran Canaria, Tenerife, and Rome, effective April 2019. Overseas, the airline will also shut down its Stewart and Providence bases in the US.
Reportedly, these route and base cuts are part of the airline’s ongoing cost-cutting efforts, which aim to save up to $234 million. This program was announced during Dcember 2018.
It has been no secret that in recent times Norwegian Air Shuttle has had to endure a host of financial difficulties which have played a major part in the airline’s decisions to implement a whole host of changes to its 2019 summer schedule.
Norwegian’s Shares Plummet
The effect on Thursday morning following IAG’s withdrawal news saw shares in Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA drop by over 20%—a new low which has seen its shares continuously plummet since it first revealed it was closing several of its European bases at the start of January 2019.
In a statement to its shareholders, CEO and founder of Norwegian Air Shuttle, Bjørn Kjos, remarked that the airline’s current plan is to “continue building a sustainable business to the benefit of its customers, employees, and shareholders.”
Not a week seems to go by without Norwegian making the headlines for one reason or another.
Whether it is cuts to the airline’ fleet, axed routes, financial troubles or finding suitable long-term funding going forward, the airline seems to be mitigating major difficulties.
After a turbulent couple of years, which saw the demise of Air Berlin, Monarch Airlines, Primera Air, Small Planet Airlines and Cobalt Airlines, the future for Norwegian seems all but clear.