Norwegian (DY, Oslo Gardermoen) expects to make an announcement regarding a partner in an aircraft-ownership joint venture in the coming weeks, CFO and interim CEO Geir Karlsen has revealed.

Since 2018, Norwegian has been looking for a joint venture partner with which to share ownership of its aircraft fleet, a move that would significantly lower the Nordic LCC's capital expenditure.

"On [the] joint venture, that is progressing. We are still having a dialogue with the same partner. We have progressed and we do expect to have clarity on this within weeks, not within months, but within weeks. There's no guarantee that this will materialise, but we are optimistic. I think that's what we can say," Karlsen said during a 2Q19 earnings call.

Regarding the airline's remaining deliveries for 2019, Karlsen said of the two B787-9s due from Boeing over the next 12 months, one is provisionally set to arrive later this month with another is due in January 2020. However, he said, one of the jets (unspecified) will "likely" be deferred into Summer 2020. Of its Airbus commitments, Karlsen said of the five A320neo Family jets due in 2019/2020 (one this year, four next year), all will be placed on longterm leases with HK Express (UO, Hong Kong Int'l).

Karlsen was appointed interim CEO following co-founder and CEO Bjorn Kjos's decision to step down effective July 11.

For his part, as one of the airline's principal shareholders, Kjos said there were no further plans, at present, to hold another rights issue despite Norwegian reporting a net loss of NOK1.4 billion krone (USD164.1 million) for 1H19, against a net profit of NOK254 million for the same period last year. As such, Karlsen said Norwegian would keep up with its cost-cutting strategy which aims to realise savings of at least NOK2 billion (USD234.1 million) this year.

"We have had a good quarter when it comes to cost savings, and we have still a massive number of initiatives that we are working on. And we do still believe that we will reach the target of NOK2 billion also despite the fact that we are taking down the capacity compared to the planned capacity a few quarters ago. So that's still the plan. Total target is still above NOK2 billion, and so let's see when we get closer to Christmas on what we can achieve. This is just a bridge on how we calculate this NOK554 million (USD64.94 million) for the second quarter and which takes us then to the NOK1 billion (USD117.05 million) for the year-to-date," he added.