Oil and Gas

Norwegian Air sells five Airbus 320neo aircraft

OSLO, Nov 2 (Reuters) - Budget airline Norwegian Air has agreed to sell five Airbus 320neo aircraft as a part of its plan to ease capital commitments and strengthen its balance sheet.

The aircraft, which will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2018, are currently leased out and not operated by Norwegian Air, the company said on Friday.

“Sale proceeds will be used to repay debt and to increase the Company´s liquidity,” Norwegian Air said.

Liquidity is expected to increase by $62 million after the repayment of debt, it said.

Norwegian Air has committed to buying 210 new aircraft from Boeing and Airbus by 2020 and has said as many as 140 planes could be sold over time as a part of the renewal of its fleet and to help reduce debt.

Norwegian Air said last week it is in advanced talks with an unnamed partner on a fleet joint venture and hopes to give more information before the end of the year.

Europe’s third-largest budget carrier by passenger numbers has grown rapidly, but fast growth has left it under pressure to control costs and shore up its balance sheet. (Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)