Justice Michael Quinn at Ireland’s High Court has approved the rescue plan for Norwegian (DY, Oslo Gardermoen) and several of its Irish-registered subsidiaries, saying in a final written judgement on April 22 that he was satisfied with the scheme that the airline’s examiner, Kieran Wallace of KPMG, had assembled.

The court heard that the group had accumulated debts of USD5.2 billion, but in his ruling the judge said that after analysing the evidence he agreed that if the rescue proposals are confirmed and implemented, Norwegian’s ongoing restructuring would facilitate the survival of the companies - the parent Norwegian Air Shuttle and its Irish-registered subsidiaries Arctic Aviation Assets, Norwegian Air International, Drammensfjorden Leasing, and Lysakerfjorden Leasing - as going concerns, the Irish Times reported.

The proposals “achieve for members, creditors and others, including employees, an outcome more favourable than would arise if the companies were wound up.”

The members of each of the companies within the group and at least one class of creditors have now approved survival plan, the judge summarised, and there is no suggestion that the primary motive of the plan is tax avoidance or any other improper purpose. The proposals are fair and equitable to each class of creditors, he added.

“The evidence of the examiner, which has not been contested, is that he is confident that the investment required to implement the proposals can be secured such that the purpose of the proposals can be achieved,” he added. “Unusually, the court is being asked to confirm the proposals in circumstances where a series of further steps needs to be implemented, including, most critically, the raising of the funds necessary to implement the proposals.”

Based on the examiner’s account of his discussions with the companies involved and with investors, and the evidence of the government of Norway’s support and that of the creditors, the judge said he was satisfied the airline would be able to secure the level of investment required. As previously reported, the group’s creditors include units of Airbus, Boeing, lessors such as Avolon, a number of lenders and financial firms, and the Irish Revenue Commissioners.