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Norwegian Air reaches agreement to end 36 aircraft leases, court hears

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FILE PHOTO: Norwegian Air Sweden Boeing 737-800 plane SE-RRJ taxies to take-off in Riga International Airport in Riga
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DUBLIN (Reuters) - Norwegian Air has withdrawn requests to repudiate a total of 36 aircraft leases after reaching agreement with the lessors in question as part of a restructuring process, Ireland's High Court heard on Tuesday.

The budget airline was late last year given protection from bankruptcy in both Norway and Ireland, where most of its assets are registered, and is aiming to emerge from the process with fewer aircraft and less debt.

The airline, which aims to cut its fleet to 53 aircraft from 140 and withdraw from the long-haul market, last week said both the Irish and Norwegian processes were going as planned and were expected to end during the second quarter.

As part of the Irish process, which is due to conclude by April 16, the Irish High Court will rule on Friday on whether to allow the airline to repudiate liabilities, including three aircraft subleases and 25 guarantees tied to aircraft leases.

A lawyer for Norwegian on Tuesday confirmed to the court that agreement had been secured on the last of 36 aircraft leases it had been seeking to repudiate.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries. Editing by Jane Merriman)