Norwegian Air dodges collapse as creditors OK rescue

Norwegian Airlines has avoided collapse, for now at least. In an emergency meeting Monday, 4 May shareholders voted to approve a rescue plan.

That will convert debt into equity, handing control to the company's creditors. Without the deal, Norwegian looked set to run out of cash by mid-May. With 95% of its planes grounded, the airline couldn't service big debts run up during years of rapid expansion. Now approval of the deal means it can also tap additional government support.

Norwegian hopes to see normal service return by 2022, albeit with a reduced fleet. Other European airlines are busy securing their own funding.

On Monday the EU's competition watchdog approved state aid for Air France. Paris is set to provide seven billion euros in loans and loan guarantees. The European Commission said it was justified, given the airline's critical importance to the French economy.

Meanwhile Lufthansa is hopeful its talks with the German government will soon produce a result.

That's according to a letter to staff seen by Reuters.

Local media reports say the airline is negotiating a bailout valued at 10 billion euros - almost 11 billion dollars.

It would reportedly see Berlin take a 25.1% stake in the carrier. 

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