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Norwegian to cancel 85 percent of its flights and temporarily layoff approximately 7,300 colleagues

Press release   •   Mar 16, 2020 13:21 GMT

The COVID-19 situation is escalating by the hour and due to stagnating demand and enforced travel restrictions by authorities worldwide, Norwegian will gradually cancel most of its flights and temporarily lay off a major share of its workforce.

“What our industry is now facing is unprecedented and critical as we are approaching a scenario where most of our airplanes will be temporarily grounded. Several governments in Europe have already said that they will do everything they can to ensure that their airlines can continue to fly when society returns to normalcy. We appreciate that the authorities of Norway have communicated that they will implement all necessary measures to protect aviation in Norway, consequently securing crucial infrastructure and jobs,” said CEO Jacob Schram of Norwegian.

Norwegian has already discontinued a significant number of its flights and the main priority this week is to maintain as many scheduled flights as possible to ensure that customers are able to immediately return to their home destinations. The company will also work closely with the authorities to arrange flights for the benefit of stranded passengers, if necessary. Customers who are directly affected by route changes and cancellations will be contacted by Norwegian via text message or e-mail.

“We understand that this extraordinary situation is stressful for our customers, but I want to assure everyone that we are working around the clock to ensure that everyone is taken care of in the best way possible at this time,” said Schram.

As a result of most of the company’s planes being parked, Norwegian unfortunately has to temporarily lay off more than 7,300 colleagues in total which equates to approximately 90 per cent of its workforce, which includes pilots, cabin crew, maintenance and administrative staff. The layoff procedures vary from country to country and Norwegian’s team is already in constructive dialogues with union and HSE representatives at all its locations across the network.

“It is indeed with a heavy heart we have to temporarily lay off more than 7,300 of our colleagues, but we unfortunately have no choice. However, I want to emphasize that this is temporary, because when the world returns to normalcy my goal is to keep as many of our dedicated colleagues as possible,” said Schram.

Norwegian’s route network changes

-Thousands of flights have already been cancelled.

-As of March 21, the company will primarily fly a reduced scheduled domestically in Norway and between the Nordic capitals. Some European flights will be operated. All intercontinental are cancelled except flights between Scandinavia and Thailand (last flights at end of March).

-All flights that will be operating will be available for sale on Norwegian.com.

-Limited schedule will remain in place until at least April 17 but will be reviewed on a regular basis in line with changes in travel restrictions and demand.

Norwegian will continue to share updates with its customers, the financial market and the media once new measures are implemented.

Detailed reduced schedule – starting March 25

Norway:

Oslo -Bergen/Stavanger/Trondheim: 4 daily departures

Oslo - Ålesund/Bodø/Evenes/Tromsø: 2 daily departures

Oslo -Alta/Kirkenes: 1 daily departure

OSL - Haugesund/Kristiansand/Molde: 1 daily departure

Oslo - Svalbard: 3 weekly depatures

Oslo -Stockholm/Copenhagen: 2 daily departures

Oslo - Helsinki: 4 weekly departures

Stavanger – Bergen: 1 daily departure

Bergen – Trondheim: 1 daily departure

Sweden:

Stockholm - Kiruna: 4 weekly departures

Stockholm - Luleå/Umeå: 2 weekly departures

Stockholm - Helsinki: 2 daily departures

Stockholm – Copenhagen: 2 daily departures

Stockholm – Oslo: 2 daily departures

Finland:

Helsinki - Kittilä: 6 weekly departures

Helsinki - Oulu: 1 daily departure

Helsinki - Rovaniemi: 1 daily departure

Helsinki - Oslo: 4 weekly departures

Denmark:

Copenhagen - Oslo: 2 daily departures

Norwegian in the UK and Ireland:

  • Norwegian carries almost 6 million UK passengers each year from London Gatwick, Edinburgh and Manchester Airports to 30 destinations worldwide
  • Norwegian is the third largest airline at London Gatwick, with 4.6 million yearly passengers, and over 1,200 UK-based pilots and cabin crew
  • In 2014, Norwegian introduced the UK’s first low-cost, long haul flights to the U.S. - the airline now flies to 11 U.S destinations, Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro from London Gatwick
  • Norwegian is the only airline to offer free inflight WiFi on UK flights to more than 30 European destinations and 13 long-haul destinations.
  • The airline has one of the youngest aircraft fleets in the world, including next-generation Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Boeing 737 MAX and Boeing 737-800s
  • Norwegian has been voted ‘Europe’s best low-cost carrier’ by passengers for six consecutive years at SkyTrax World Airline Awards from 2013-2018, along with being awarded the ‘World's best low-cost long-haul airline’ in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019
  • Norwegian Reward is the airline's free to join award-winning loyalty programme offering members CashPoints and Rewards that reduce the cost of Norwegian flights