Norwegian has confirmed plans to cancel 85% of its flights and temporarily lay off 7,300 colleagues due to coronavirus flight cancellations.
The airline said due to stagnating demand and enforced travel restrictions by authorities worldwide, it will gradually cancel most of its flights and temporarily lose 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," CEO Jacob Schram, said.
"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."
Norwegian has already discontinued a significant number of its flights on the back of the Foreign Commonwealth Office's latest list of destinations to avoid – which includes Malta and Morocco.
The company said it will also work closely with the authorities to arrange flights for the benefit of stranded passengers.
Customers who are directly affected by route changes and cancellations will be contacted by Norwegian via text message or email.
"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," Schram added.
In total, 7,300 jobs will be lost – which equates to approximately 90% of its workforce.
This includes pilots, cabin crew, maintenance and administrative staff.
"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," Schram concluded.
As of March 21, the company will primarily fly a reduced schedule in Norway and between the Nordic capitals only.
Some European flights will be operated. All intercontinental are cancelled except flights between Scandinavia and Thailand.
The 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.
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
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
Helsinki – Kittilä: 6 weekly departures
Helsinki – Oulu: 1 daily departure
Helsinki – Rovaniemi: 1 daily departure
Helsinki – Oslo: 4 weekly departures
Copenhagen – Oslo: 2 daily departures
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