Thousands of Norwegian Air passengers whose flights were cancelled last year won’t be getting their tickets refunded any time soon. Bankruptcy court proceedings mean, according to those reorganizing the airline, that “we don’t have permission” to refund tickets purchased before November 18.
That’s when Norwegian filed for bankruptcy in Ireland and, later, in Norway. The airline is now in a crucial restruturing process and finally won more support from a skeptical Norwegian government to contribute towards yet another recapitalization.
It all means that ticket-holders are viewed as credtors of the corporation and thereby subject to the courts’ discretion. Those holding Norwegian Air’s so-called “cashpoints” (frequent flyer credits) also face an uncertain future.
“The company must, under law, handle all customer demands on equal terms as other creditors’ demands,” Håvard Wiker, an attorney and Norwegian Air’s “reconstructor,” told newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN). “That means that the company today doesn’t have (court) permission to refund demands that came in before the opening (of the bankruptcy case).”
Norwegian hopes to avoid actual bankruptcy and emerge from protection of the courts in April. Current shareholders will then only own 5 percent of the company.