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Norwegian to suspend more than 4000 flights and implement layoffs

Press release   •   Mar 12, 2020 16:36 GMT

Following the U.S. ban on travel from most of Europe and the escalating coronavirus situation, Norwegian has decided to ground 40 percent of its long-haul fleet and cancel up to 25 percent of its short-haul flights until the end of May. The changes apply to the company’s entire route network.

Jacob Schram, CEO of Norwegian said: “This is an unprecedented situation and our main priority continues to be the care and safety of our customers and colleagues. The new restrictions imposed further pressure on an already difficult situation. We urge international governments to act now to ensure that the aviation industry can protect jobs and continue to be a vital part of the global economic recovery.”

40 percent of long-haul capacity to be cancelled
From March 13th to March 29th, we will cancel the majority of our long-haul flights to the U.S. from Amsterdam, Madrid, Oslo, Stockholm, Barcelona and Paris.

From March 13th to the end of May, all flights between Rome and the U.S. will be cancelled.

From March 29th until the end of April, all flights from Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, Amsterdam, Athens and Oslo to the U.S. will be cancelled.

All routes between London Gatwick and the U.S. will continue to operate as normal. Our goal is to reroute as many of our customers as possible through London during this difficult period.

The short-haul network heavily impacted
Norwegian will also cancel a large share of its domestic flights in Norway and flights within Scandinavia, such as Oslo-Copenhagen and Oslo-Stockholm. Flights to Italy will also be cancelled. Domestic and intra-Scandinavian flights will be combined to re-protect our customers.

Customers booked to travel on affected flights will be contacted to discuss their options including rebooking onto a flight at a later date. Due to a high number of enquires we encourage all customers to check our website www.norwegian.com/updates for the latest travel advice. If your travels are past April 15th, 2020, please refrain from contacting our Customer Care team at this time.

LayoffsDuring a pandemic it is Norwegian’s policy to prioritize and safeguard the health and well-being of employees while ensuring Norwegian's ability to maintain essential operations and continue providing services to our customers.

Due to the extraordinary market situation as a result of the coronavirus, and thus a dramatic drop in customers and subsequent production decline, we must look at all possible measures to reduce costs. This unfortunately also includes temporary layoffs of up to 50 percent of our employees and the number may increase. All departments will be affected by the temporary layoffs.

We have initiated, in consultation with the unions, a discussion and mapping process and will then return with leave notices to affected departments, stations and employees.

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 with an average age of 4.6 years, 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