UPDATE 1-Four staffing units of Norwegian Air file for bankruptcy

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OSLO, April 20 (Reuters) – Four Swedish and Danish subsidiaries of Norwegian Air have filed for bankruptcy due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis which has grounded most of the company’s fleet, the budget carrier said on Monday.

The four companies are staffing units, employing 4,700 pilots and cabin crew members, while about 700 pilots and 1,300 cabin crew based in Norway, France and Italy were unaffected by the decision, Norwegian said.

“We have done everything we can to avoid making this last-resort decision and we have asked for access to government support in both Sweden and Denmark,” Chief Executive Jacob Schram said in a statement.

The company is still seeking to convert debt to equity and to raise money from shareholders while also trying to qualify for state guarantees from Norway’s government in a bid to survive the crisis.

“We are working around the clock to get through this crisis and to return as a stronger Norwegian with the goal of bringing as many colleagues back in the air as possible,” Schram said. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Gwladys Fouche)

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