Norwegian dismisses O’Leary’s claims about its future

Ryanair CEO says Norwegian “may not survive through the winter”
Norwegian has angrily dismissed claims by Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary that it “may not survive through the winter”.
O’Leary claimed late last week that what he believed to be financial constraints on Norwegian would see the carrier struggle.
“Norwegian will go in four or five months. They are running out of cash… they are scrabbling around daily,” he said. “Norwegian has huge aircraft orders that they don’t have the cash to pay for.”
A Norwegian spokesperson told TTG that O’Leary’s views “have no root in reality”.
“Norwegian has been profitable for the last 10 years, with a strong liquidity, together with owning a substantial share of Bank Norwegian which has a market value of over £1.6 billion (NOK 17 billion).
O’Leary maintained he did not want to see Norwegian fail as he “likes that they are giving competition to BA” with its route strategy and product offering.
Ryanair has been in talks with Norwegian for some time on offering connecting flights to its long-haul services – which O’Leary said were still taking place.
“We are still talking [to Norwegian], but I’m not sure they will still be flying in 12 months,” he added.
During a press conference in London, he also questioned the future of British low-cost carrier Monarch Airlines, saying: “Both Monarch and Norwegian are in trouble”. He also suggested easyJet may not remain independent in five years’ time, saying there was a “50/50 chance” it would merge, perhaps with Air France.