Norwegian Air to buy regional airline Wideroe

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Norwegian Air has agreed to purchase regional airline Wideroe for 1.13 billion crowns ($106 million).

The deal is the latest reshuffling in the Norwegian airline sector that saw newcomer Flyr file for bankruptcy in January having failed to raise enough cash to survive the winter season.

The two companies, which have been collaborating on routes since last year, will continue to operate independently, but the networks will be more closely integrated in the future, Norwegian Air CEO Geir Karlsen said.

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“This will make it more attractive for passengers. In addition, I believe it can bring economies of scale,” he said, adding this could be areas such as purchases, maintenance, IT services or ground handling”, he told a news conference.

Wideroe, Scandinavia’s largest regional-only airline, serves short-haul routes in a sparsely populated region with few train lines and challenging geography.

An important part of the regional infrastructure, Wideroe owns 40 Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft, and three Embraer E190-E2 jets.

The deal comes only two years after Norwegian Air emerged from bankruptcy protection with a smaller fleet and its debt almost wiped out, having raised cash. It has since increased its fleet from 51 aircraft to 81 Boeing 737-800s and 737 MAX 8s, Reuters reported.

Photo: Anna Zvereva/Wikimedia