Norwegian Air Shuttle has struck a deal to sell its shares in credit card company Norwegian Finans Holding ASA for £203 million, providing extra cash for the airline.

The company agreed to sell its shares in the company it originally established to Cidron Xingu Ltd, a firm indirectly controlled by Nordic Capital Fund IX and Sampo Plc.

Norwegian’s acting CEO Geir Karlsen said the sale “is part of Norwegian’s strategy to strengthen our core airline operations and focusing on the transition from growth to profitability”.

The airline has suffered a number of setbacks from factors outside of its control, including problems with Rolls Royce engines on its Dreamliner aircraft and the grounding of the 737 Max, for which Norwegian said it would charge Boeing.

Co-founder and CEO Bjorn Kjos stepped down last month, leaving current deputy chief executive Karlsen – the carrier’s former CFO – to fill his role until a replacement can be appointed.

Norwegian recently announced it would cease operating its routes between Ireland and North America, saying the services were no longer financially viable. It was the latest in a series of measures to return the airline to profitability after it posted a loss of nearly £133 million in the first quarter of 2019.

At the beginning of 2019, Norwegian raised extra cash through a rights issue of nearly £270 million in shares underwritten by Kjos and chairman Bjorn Halvor Kise.

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