Budget airline Norwegian has filed for bankruptcy protection as it scrambles to secure a rescue deal.
The long-haul carrier is seeking to restructure debts, sell planes and find new funding after it was devastated by a Covid collapse in air travel.
Norwegian - which has spent almost a decade battling to establish itself as a cheap alternative for transatlantic travel - elected to file court proceedings in Ireland as its aircraft are held in the country.
Chief executive Jacob Schram said: “Seeking protection to reorganise under Irish law is a decision that we have taken to secure the future of Norwegian for the benefit of our employees, customers and investors.
“Our aim is to find solutions with our stakeholders that will allow us to emerge as a financially stronger and secure airline.”
Officials pumped £250m into the airline in March, in a state rescue that wiped out shareholders and required banks and aircraft leasing companies to agree to a £1.2bn debt-for-equity swap.
They then signalled in September that Norwegian could be nationalised under radical plans to rescue the airline but this failed to come off.
Norwegian will continue to trade on the Oslo stock exchange as the clock starts ticking on a court-led process called examinership.
The Irish High Court appoints an examiner for up to 100 days to oversee restructuring of a company's finances.
Mr Schram said: “Our intent is clear. We will emerge from this process as a more financially secure and competitive airline, with a new financial structure, a rightsized fleet and improved customer offering.”