Norwegian budget airline Norwegian Air has appointed its chief financial officer Geir Karlsen as chief executive with immediate effect, succeeding Jacob Schram, it said on Monday.

The board voted on June 20 to end the tenure of Schram, who will continue to support the carrier on a full-time basis during his notice period up to March 31, the airline said.

Karlsen has been chief financial officer since 2018 and was acting CEO for six months in 2019 for the carrier, which is emerging from bankruptcy protection after the COVID-19 crisis plunged the heavily indebted airline into a financial crisis.

“Karlsen has successfully led the financial reconstruction of Norwegian and has the competencies, focus, trust and dedication that makes him the best choice as CEO of Norwegian,” said Svein Harald Oeygard, the chair of Norwegian’s board.

Courts in Oslo and Dublin have given their approval for Norwegian to sharply cut its debt by converting it to stock, but the rulings were conditional on Norwegian raising at least 4.5 billion Norwegian crowns ($519 million) in additional funds.

The survival plan brings to an end Norwegian’s long-haul business, leaving a slimmed-down carrier focusing on Nordic and European routes.

The search for a new CFO would commence immediately, Norwegian said.

($1 = 8.6651 Norwegian crowns) (Reporting by Nora Buli; Editing by Terje Solsvik and Edmund Blair)

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Photo Credit: New Norwegian Air CEO Geir Karlsen was previously the low-cost carrier's CFO. Norwegian Air